Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: At least 20 people were feared killed when a tornado hit about 11 villages under Rajkanika Block of Kendrapara district of Orissa on Tuesday.

Official sources, however, confirmed eight deaths and said the toll was likely to increase when rescue teams entered the affected villages.

According to initial reports, the tragedy took place around 4.40 p.m. when the tornado caught the villagers unawares. Hundreds of houses were damaged in the villages that were spread over a five kilometre radius. Such was the intensity of the tornado that people were lifted to a height of 25 to 30 ft.

According to Kendrapara District Sub-Collector Ranjan Kumar Das, personnel of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force were on their way to the affected villages for rescue and relief operation.

Rescue work was hampered because of darkness and roadblocks caused by hundreds of uprooted trees.

RELATED NEWS

Tornado warning issued for JakartaDecember 30, 2010

More In: Today's Paper