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Tornado near Tokyo kills 14-year-old boy, injures at least 30

A tornado tore through eastern Japan on Sunday, killing a teenager, injuring at least 30, and destroying homes.

Tornado damage 060512Enlarge
Destroyed trees and homes are seen at sunset after a massive tornado passed through the town killing at least 125 people and injuring around 900 in Joplin, Missouri. (Mario Tama/AFP/Getty Images)

A tornado tore through a city near Tokyo on Sunday afternoon, killing a 14-year-old boy and injuring at least 30 others, the Associated Press reported

The tornado hit Tsukuba city, 40 miles from Tokyo, which is home to dozens of research and academic institutes, according to the AP. It damaged at least 50 residential properties and cut power to over 20,000 houses, Agence France Presse reported

Over 30 other people were injured, including at least 10 who were being treated at local hospitals, officials told the AP, adding that details of the death and injuries were not immediately available.

"The figure is only a temporary tally. We believe the number (for injuries) could rise," a spokesman for the city told reporters.

The neighboring city of Moka also reported one injury and 132 damaged buildings after it was hit by an apparently separate tornado, according to AFP. Tochigi, also in eastern Japan, reported a number of minor injuries as the region was hit with strong winds, hail, lightning and heavy rain.

Television footage from Tsukuba showed houses swept from their foundations, overturned cars, and fallen power poles, and aerial images showed as many as hundreds of houses and apartments with shattered glass windows and the roofs blown off, AFP reported. 

"You could see the roaring column of wind rushing with sparks from live power lines inside it," a local man told national broadcaster NHK, according to AFP. 

The Japanese weather agency issued extreme weather warnings for most of the eastern part of the country, urging people to seek shelter in case of sudden winds and thunder, AFP reported. Tornadoes are relatively rare in the region.

MSNBC's photo blog showed images of some of the damage. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/japan/120506/tornado-tokyo-japan-kills-14-year-old