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Saturday, April 21 2018 @ 07:23 AM EDT

Tornado Strikes Panama City - More Than 150 Homes Damaged

Weather By DON WINNER for - A tornado struck the eastern part of Panama City yesterday afternoon, spawned by the strong thunderstorms that moved through the area. Residents captured amateur video of the tornado as it touched down in the area of 24 de Diciembre and specifically the neighborhoods of Altos de Tocumen, Villa Marta, Villa Lucre and el Progreso of Alcalde Díaz. On the video which was being shown this morning on both TVN Channel 2 and Telemetro Channel 13, one can clearly see the a violent rotating column of air extending from the thunderstorm to the ground, damaging the roofs of more than 150 houses, as well as an airborne debris field rotating over the area of destruction, with full sheets of roofing material circulating as much as 250 feet into the air. A reporter on the scene in one of the most affected neighborhoods showed a large chunk of concrete that according to witnesses came flying through the air, hitting the side of the building and breaking a window before falling to the ground and rolling to a stop between two houses. There were also a large number of trees blown down, tearing down power lines and damaging homes and walls where they fell. There's no doubt about it, that was a tornado. Witness said they saw at least three funnel clouds trying to form but only one reached the ground and caused damage. In addition, the tornado was preceded by heavy hail, another indicator of super cell activity. In Panama since most of the construction is poured, steel reinforced concrete with cement block walls, it's common for houses to lose their roofs which are the weakest part of the building, but the structure itself is generally unaffected. Panama's National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) as well as police, fire, and other government agencies responded to the affected areas to provide assistance to the residents.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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