The above video pulls together several pieces of footage that look like something you would see in "tornado alley" (except for the architecture, of course). The strong tornado shown in the videos took place on Sunday, 7-31-11 in Blagoveshchensk, Russia. That city is located in the far southeast part of Russia, near the border with China (see map below). From the power flashes to airborne debris, this is a rare sight for this region - and even more so to have the event captured on video!
According to media reports (and confirmed by parts of the video), damage is widespread and significant across the city of just over 200,000 people, where a state of emergency has been declared. Amazingly, only 1 person is being reported as dead so far, with "dozens" injured. Based on the video, I fear that the death toll may rise as further damaged structures are examined.
Significant tornadoes are relatively rare in Russia. In June 1904, at least 30 people were killed when two tornadoes moved through the eastern part of Moscow. At least three powerful tornadoes killed more than 400 people in Belyanitsky, Ivanovo and Balino in western Russia in June of 1984. In recent years, a weak tornado struck eastern Moscow on June 4, 2009, causing widespread damage (see photo below) but thankfully no fatalities:
I'll be sure to update this post with damage photos and/or video on this most recent event as they become available...
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