Mini tornado hits Oz city

A devastating “mini tornado” tore through the city of Townsville on Tuesday, ripping roofs off houses, snapping trees in half and injuring 13 people as wild weather pounded northern Australia.

The Queensland State Emergency Service (SES) said it received dozens of calls for help, with 13 people needing treatment, mostly for cuts and abrasions. Three were hospitalised.

“Rapid Damage Assessments in the Townsville area have recorded approximately 60 homes with varying degrees of roof damage,” the SES said, adding that at least six of the properties suffered significant structural damage.

Meteorologists, who said the freak storm could not officially be called a tornado as there was no funnel, recorded winds of up to 111 kilometres per hour, leaving thousands of homes without power.
One resident said that when the storm hit it sounded like “a jet taking off”.

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