Tornado causes "widespread devastation" in Australian state

12:29, June 03, 2010      

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A tornado smashed into the New South Wales (NSW) north coast town of Lennox Head Thursday morning, causing "widespread devastation", police said.

Twelve houses were destroyed and debris was sent flying when the storm, which one witness said hit "like a bomb", careered in off the sea.

NSW Premier Kristina Kenneally said the tornado caused " widespread devastation" and police said more than 30 houses were damaged.

However, Inspector Gary Cowan from Richmond Command said only two people had been taken to hospital.

"When we look at the damage it's just a miracle that no-one was seriously injured or killed," he said.

Bureau of Meteorology severe weather meteorologist Andrew Haigh said the tornado moved north from Lennox Head to Byron Bay before heading offshore again.

"It's heading further offshore now and that's where it will stay," he said.

The low pressure system is moving south, dumping large amounts of rain but the bureau indicated Lennox Head has now seen the worst of it.

But it warns that anywhere south of Yamba and Byron Bay has the potential to see flash flooding.

Source: Xinhua


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