‘Apocalyptic’ tornado hits Sicilian island of Pantelleria, killing two

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An “apocalyptic” tornado ravaged a Sicilian island on Friday evening, leaving two dead and nine others seriously injured.

The tornado struck the Italian island of Pantelleria, south of Sicily, shortly before 7:00 p.m. local time (5:00 p.m. GMT) and ripped through the roofs of houses, firefighters confirmed.

The whirlwind “hit and overturned six cars,” with shocking photographs showing one vehicle being thrown into a house and another lying in a field, the civil protection agency said in a Facebook post.

According to the Italian ANSA news agency, two people were killed in the tornado and were later identified as a firefighter on leave stationed on the island and an 86-year-old man.

The tornado hit the Italian island of Pantelleria, south of Sicily, shortly before 7 p.m. (5 p.m. GMT) and overturned cars (pictured), firefighters confirmed

Shocking photographs showed a vehicle thrown at a house and another left lying in a field, the civil protection agency said in a Facebook post

The tornado has

The tornado “hit and overturned six cars” (pictured), and two people died while nine others were injured, firefighters say

The victims were in separate cars that were part of a dozen vehicles that were tossed into the air by the force of the “doomsday” tornado, ANSA said.

The devastating scenes would have seen the deceased thrown out of their vehicles, one victim landing on a low wall and the other on the ground.

At least one car landed on its roof while another ended up on its shattered front end.

In addition to the two deaths, nine people were injured, two of them in critical condition, Pantelleria mayor Vincenzo Vittorio Campo told Sky TG24 TV.

The mayor said no one seemed to be missing on the island after the tornado ravaged the island, adding: “We’re still trying to figure out what happened.”

Locals described the scenes of destruction left as “apocalyptic,” as high winds reportedly ravaged a coastal road in just seconds.

Mario Valenza, who lives in the Campobello district of Pantelleria, said his house was completely ’emptied’ and its roof and doors were ripped off during the tornado.

Mario, who will stay with his daughter until he can inspect the damage at his home, said: “I was not at the house at the time – he said – inside there was no There was only Assian, my shepherd dog from the Maremma.

Two people were killed and were later identified as a resting firefighter who was stationed on the island and an 86-year-old resident, according to ANSA.  Pictured: tornado damage

Two people were killed and were later identified as a resting firefighter who was stationed on the island and an 86-year-old resident, according to ANSA. Pictured: tornado damage

The victims were in separate cars that were part of a dozen vehicles thrown into the air by the force of the tornado

The victims were in separate cars that were part of a dozen vehicles thrown into the air by the force of the “doomsday” tornado, ANSA said. Pictured: two cars wrecked in a tornado

Nine people were injured, two of them in critical condition, Pantelleria mayor Vincenzo Vittorio Campo said.  Pictured: Tornado damage in Pantelleria

Nine people were injured, two of them in critical condition, Pantelleria mayor Vincenzo Vittorio Campo said. Pictured: Tornado damage in Pantelleria

A helicopter from the hospital on the nearby island of Lampedusa was ready to provide assistance once the weather improved.  Pictured: crashed car and tornado damage

A helicopter from the hospital on the nearby island of Lampedusa was ready to provide assistance once the weather improved. Pictured: crashed car and tornado damage

“He was saved because, out of fear, he hid under the bed, thus escaping the fury of the wind and the water. The vortex entered through the window destroying everything inside.

Pino Guida, resident of the Karuscia district of Pantelleria whose house is only 1 km from where the whirlwind destroyed houses and cars, told La Sicilia: “I felt rain and wind very strong, something really abnormal for our island.

“It all happened in an instant.

Guida said they could not leave their home due to the intensity of the rain and the “force” of the wind.

Guida continued, “At some point the light also went out and at that point we thought the vortex had caused serious damage, although we couldn’t imagine that there were also victims.”

Strong winds also ravaged a coastal road on the Mediterranean island within seconds, ”local media reported.

“It was an apocalyptic sight,” an anonymous paramedic told ANSA at the scene.

A helicopter from the hospital on the nearby island of Lampedusa was unable to reach the island due to bad weather but had to provide help out once the weather has improved.

In a tweet, firefighters said: “Electric poles bent, roofs damaged and trees toppled.”

Pantelleria, famous for its volcanic cliffs and thermal waters, is popular with tourists and regularly attracts celebrities such as Sting and Giorgio Armani, who owns a luxury villa there.


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