At around 2 p.m. on Monday, September 2, a rare sight filled the skies of Tokyo’s neighbour to the north, Saitama Prefecture. From a layer of thick, dark cloud, a twisting grey finger reached down and made contact with the city itself and the word tatsumaki could be heard all around: there was a tornado in the city.

The twister tore through some 14 kilometres of the prefecture within just a few minutes, taking out power lines, ripping the roofs from a number of houses and leaving as many as 33,000 residences across the Kanto region without power. Soon after, dozens of videos appeared online showing the tornado rumbling across the land.

According to NHK reports, 30 homes in the town of Koshigaya lost their roofs to the strong winds, and dozens of people suffered injuries as debris was flung about.

Although there is a commonly held belief that tornadoes occur only is large, flat areas, this theory has been disproven many times and twisters have been known to touch down almost anywhere so long as there is the right combination of cold and warm, moist air, usually during supercell thunderstorms. Even so, tornadoes are a comparatively rare occurrence here in Japan, so it’s little wonder that so many people risked taking photos and videos of the twister moving through Saitama Prefecture.

▼ Here we see the importance of turning our cameras on their side when taking video

Reference: NHKAsahi ShinbunYouTube
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