Urban tornado rips through Miami

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The Independent Online
A rare urban tornado ripped through downtown Miami yesterday, tearing roofs from buildings, overturning cars and throwing pedestrians against buildings.

Miami police, whose own headquarters was hit by the swirling thunderstorm, said there were no immediate reports of serious injuries but that damage was extensive in the downtown, Overtown and Little Havana districts.

"It was like cinema all-round sound, then I saw this long cloud spinning and hitting the ground. It only lasted few seconds but it seemed like an eternity. It was overwhelming," said police officer Angel Calzadilla. "I saw this white mass come down and hit the ground. It was as though someone was playing with a yo-yo. It was really phenomenal to see the power of the thing," said one downtown eyewitness, Irving Fields.

Weathermen said that it was extremely rare for a thunderstorm to turn into a tornado at this time of year. Tornados also tend to hit sparsely- populated areas. Beach areas around Fort Lauderdale were under tornado alert as experts warned of further possible tornados in the area.