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North America’s first EF-4 tornado of the year strikes Manitoba, Canada

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A powerful tornado rated EF-4 ripped through parts of the Canadian province of Manitoba on Friday, August 3, 2018. Environment Canada upgraded the preliminary EF-3 rating to EF-4 on August 6, making it North America's strongest tornado of the year. The twister left a trail of destruction and killed a 77-year-old man.

Environment Canada says it issued a tornado warning at 20:17 CDT, 13 minutes before the tornado touched down. 

The twister ripped through Alonsa, Silver Ridge and Margaret Bruce Beach and was on the ground for approximately 20 minutes, according to Environment Canada. At one point, it was 800 m (0.5 miles) wide.

EC damage survey found a small farmhouse was destroyed where the 77-year-old man lived as well as two cabins, one on the shore of Lake Manitoba and the other just to the west. This is Canada's first tornado-related death since 2011.

The twister also destroyed many trailers, tractors and vehicles. In addition, one home was partially destroyed when its wall collapsed, injuring an elderly couple.

Emergency weather alerts were sent out through the new Alert Ready system, according to EC. However, many people did not have cell service and did not receive them. 

The strongest tornado to ever touch down in Canada was rated F5. It hit Elie, Manitoba, on June 22, 2007.

In terms of absolute tornado counts, the United States leads the list, with an average of over 1 000 tornadoes recorded each year. Canada is a distant second, with around 100 per year.

Featured image credit: CBC

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