At least 12 people were injured and 30 houses damaged after a tornado hit the Bakenwala village in the Fazilka district of Punjab, officials said on Saturday (March 25).
The tornado also damaged standing crops in the fields and kinnow orchards, they said.
A video of the tornado wreaking havoc was widely circulated on social media. The injured have been admitted to the civil hospital in Fazilka.
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A Twitter user named Weatherman Navdeep Dahiya shared a 45-second clip and wrote, “A massive #Tornado reported from a village in #Fazilka district of #Punjab this evening. This is second tornado reported from Punjab within a week. Spring WDs have always brought in severe weather in the plains of North #India. The frequency of tornado reporting in #India is increasing every year. THIS VIDEO IS VERIFIED. (24/03/2023) (sic).”
A massive #Tornado reported from a village in #Fazilka district of #Punjab this evening. 🌪️
This is second tornado reported from Punjab within a week.
Spring WDs have always brought in severe weather in the plains of North #India.
The frequency of tornado reporting in #India is… pic.twitter.com/bPZqZDBPfU
— Weatherman Navdeep Dahiya (@navdeepdahiya55) March 24, 2023
Bakenwala resident Gurmukh Singh said, “Villagers saw the tornado around 4 pm on Friday. It caused damage in a 2-2.5-km area,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner Senu Duggal, who visited the affected village, said the administration shifted those villagers whose houses were damaged to the local government school.
“The administration will also begin the process to assess the loss of property and crop that will be compensated by the government,” Duggal said.
What caused tornado in Punjab?
As per observations made by the India Meteorological Department (IMD), western disturbance-triggered rains, thunderstorms and gusty winds were recorded in isolated locations across Punjab on Friday, a report on Weather Channel said.
Such unstable weather conditions facilitate the formation of tornadoes; in fact, tornadoes are essentially born when thunderstorms meet strong winds blowing in a different direction. When the warm and moist air from a thunderstorm rises and meets the cold and dry air from the winds, a swirling vortex is created. This causes the air to spin faster and faster, creating a column of rotating air that reaches down from the thunderstorm to the ground. And this rotating column is what we call a tornado, it added.
(With agency inputs)