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Suspected tornado leaves 1 dead, trashes homes in Chiba ahead of Typhoon Hagibis

A home that sustained damage to its roof and second floor from strong winds believed to be from a tornado is seen in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, on Oct. 12, 2019. (Mainichi/Koichiro Tezuka)

ICHIHARA, Chiba -- Strong winds from what is believed to be a tornado struck the Shimono neighborhood of this eastern Japan city on the morning of Oct. 12, killing one person and damaging several homes, the city's fire department reported.

A home that sustained damage from strong winds believed to be from a tornado is seen in Ichihara, Chiba Prefecture, on Oct. 12, 2019. (Mainichi/Shohei Kato)

A lightweight truck was found overturned and heavily damaged at the scene. A man, 49, who is thought to have been the driver, was discovered in a state of cardiorespiratory arrest. He was confirmed dead at a hospital. It is believed that the strong winds caused the truck to topple over.

Additionally, one home at the scene had its roof tiles blown off, and the walls of its second floor sustained heavy damage. At another residence, a tree collapsed onto parts of the property. Windows were also broken, and a nearby utility pole had also fallen. Five residents, including three children aged between 3 and 8, were rushed to hospital with injuries.

A resident at a home whose roof was torn off by strong winds said, "I was on the first floor when I felt this huge shake. Rainwater started leaking in, so I looked at my home from outside and found the roof had disappeared. I was shocked. The typhoon hasn't even arrived yet. And the rain is only going to get worse."

(Japanese original by Kenichi Katoono, Kisarazu Local Bureau)

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