[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 29 September 2005, 08:10 GMT 09:10 UK
'Tornado' damages seaside homes
Chimney damaged by Fleetwood 'tornado' - picture courtesy of Jack Waterfield
A chimney was dislodged by the force of the winds
Residents of a Lancashire seaside town are clearing up after a suspected tornado caused damage to a number of homes on Wednesday evening.

A lamppost was blown over into a garden, one house lost a chimney and roof tiles were dislodged and damaged during the strong winds in Fleetwood.

Firefighters said only a quarter-mile square area of the town was affected.

A Met Office spokesman said the evidence suggested that the damage had been caused by a tornado.

Firefighters were called to Birnam Green, Manor Road and Hamlet Street shortly after 1800 BST on Wednesday.

One neighbour told us his ears popped with the pressure, while another said he saw his caravan lifted six inches off the ground
Crew manager Steve Simpson, Fleetwood Fire Station

Jack Waterfield, of Manor Road, said: "It smashed many windows, including mine, and my neighbour's greenhouse was obliterated by the sheer pressure."

Steve Simpson, crew manager at the town's fire station, said: "The strange part of it was other areas of Fleetwood weren't affected.

"About 20 houses had to be repaired to make the area safe.

"One neighbour told us his ears popped with the pressure, while another said he saw his caravan lifted six inches off the ground.

"It was very lucky that nobody was hurt."

Fence damaged by the winds
Only a quarter-mile square area was affected

Mr Simpson said the strong winds only lasted for a matter of seconds and then minutes later there were blue skies.

A spokesman at the Met Office in Manchester said the localised extent of the damage was consistent with a tornado.

"A rather active cold front was hitting the Fleetwood area at that time and it was possible it could be a tornado, or a squall," he said.

"Without photographic or video evidence it is impossible to say for certain, but the damage described sounds like it was a tornado."

Tornado is 'worst for 25 years'
29 Jul 05 |  West Midlands
Living with tornados
03 May 05 |  Lancashire
UK, Holland top twister league
11 Jul 03 |  Science/Nature
Tornadoes wreak havoc in Mid-West
05 May 03 |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific