Hundreds of Hayling Island homes damaged by 'mini-tornado'

Local media reports suggest that nearly 100 houses had their roofs damaged

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The Independent Online

A clean-up operation has begun in Hayling Island, Hampshire, after it was reportedly hit by a mini-tornado.

Local media reports suggest that nearly 100 houses had their roofs damaged after the high winds and rain hit the island at around 8am this morning.

Emergency services attended the scene and highway teams are currently clearing up debris in the area.

There were no reports of injuries and Havant Council said it was assessing damage to properties.

A Hampshire Police spokesperson said: "Reports of fallen trees, telegraph poles etc have been made to our control room. We are working with our partner agencies – Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service and local councils - to assist where necessary today."

Havant Borough Council said: "A mini-tornado has hit Hayling Island at around 8am this morning causing some damage to properties in Blackthorn Road and Ilex Walk.

"There are no reported injuries at this time. Emergency Services are at the scene and Havant Borough Council (HBC) are working with Hampshire County Council Highways to clean up the debris. "

"HBC building control officers are assessing the damage to the affected properties and more will be known once inspections have been carried out."

The UK has more reported tornadoes, relative to land area, than any other country except the Netherlands. Despite this they are usually weak.

One of the strongest in recent times was was the Birmingham tornado which hit the suburbs of Britain's second city on 28 July 2005.

The Met Office and TORRO (The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation) estimated that it achieved wind speeds of between 93 and 130 mph.