Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Large Tornado In Taranto, Italy on 11-28-12...

Joplin?  Tuscaloosa?  Oklahoma?  No, the screen capture above shows a large, "wedge" tornado tearing through the industrial port of Taranto, Italy at around 11:30 AM local time on November 28, 2012.

A very impressive YouTube video has surfaced and is shown below.  Note the multiple vortex structure of the tornado at several points, especially around 1 minute into the video.  You can also see transformer power flashes from time to time:

I'm sure Google's Italian to English translator doesn't do it justice, but the videographer is quoted as saying "A thing of this kind I do not I have ever seen..." in the description of the video.

Here is an up close view of the tornado (don't try this at home).  Again, note the violent motion associated with the multiple vortex structure of the tornado:

Additional videos are shown at this link.

Taranto is located on the Mediterranean Sea on the Southeast tip of the country:

Initial media reports indicated 3 deaths and 20 injuries due to the tornado.  Recent reports have removed the reference to any deaths, although 1 person is reported "missing" when a crane he was operating was "swept into the sea".  Recent reports of injuries have risen to "40 plus".

Damage was reportedly caused to a primary school where 5-10 children were injured, but not seriously according to reports.  Major damage was reported at the ILVA steel mill, which is one of the largest steel manufacturers in western Europe.  That is also believed to be the location where the crane operator was reported missing.

Some damage photos and videos are also beginning to emerge.  This one was recently posted on YouTube and shows extensive damage to what appear to be heavy, masonry constructed buildings:

Tornadoes are not uncommon in this region, however I have never seen one this large documented on video (or photos, for that matter).  This is likely due, in part, to the recent onslaught of digital media where almost everyone is now carrying around a digital camera and/or video camera in their pocket.  There were several instances of tornadoes with significant damage in Italy prior to the 1970s, but no known photographs of the parent tornadoes exist in most cases.

Taking a quick look at the history of recent Italian tornadoes, the last "significant" event appears to have taken place back in September of 1970, near Venice.  That event caused 36 deaths and "significant" damage across the region.

In more recent times, tornadoes have struck in the region of Veneto, Italy (largest city and capital is Venice) on both July 23, 2010 and June 12, 2012.  The former tornado caused 1 fatality.  The latter did not result in any deaths, but was estimated at "F2" intensity based on damage.  A photo of the June 12, 2012 tornado is shown below (unknown photographer, from this report in Italian): 

If you have interest in this event, please bookmark this post and check back for updates as I will be gathering additional information throughout the coming days.

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Portable Garages said...

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Anonymous said...

Silo u ok?
been 6 hrs,

Whatching from a far.