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Last Updated: Thursday December 07 2006 18:32 GMT

Tornado sweeps through London

Damaged wall

A tornado has caused devastation in London - ripping off roofs, damaging cars and injuring at least six people as it whipped through the streets.

Powerful swirling winds brought chaos to Kensal Rise in the north-west of the city at about 11am on Thursday.

Colin Brewer, who lives nearby, said: "I saw clumps of all sorts of things flying into air. It went from exciting to terrifying."

He said he saw trees ripped up, front doors missing and windows smashed.

Map

Tornadoes are swirling columns of wind which form when a warm wind meets a cold one, and are very rare in Britain.

It's thought around 150 houses have been affected by the storm, and pupils have been cleared out of a local school.

People have been told to stay out of the area until the emergency services have made sure it's safe.

The council has now begun the job of clearing up the mess left behind.