Several injured as very destructive, possibly multivortex tornado hits Arles, France

Several injured as very destructive, possibly multivortex tornado hits Arles, France

Several people were injured after a destructive tornado hit the city of Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône, southern France on October 15, 2019. Damage suggests this was a multiple vortex tornado.

Heavy rain with winds up to 113 km/h (70 mph) started affecting the region late October 14, bringing heavy rain to Ardeche, Lozere and the Alpes-Maritimes.

In just 24 hours, Barnas in Piedmont Cevennes received 136 mm (5.35 inches) of rain. This is its two weeks of average rainfall.

The twister touched down in Arles' neighborhood of Pont-de-Crau around 04:50 LT on October 15, damaging cars and homes, downing trees and leaving the area without electricity.

About 150 homes were damaged or destroyed, including caravans and mobile homes in a nearby campsite. Some 60 people had to be temporarily relocated, an official at the Departmental operational fire and rescue center said.

Five people were injured, and one of them hospitalized.

According to Paul Marquis of The Weather of 13, the tornado traveled a distance of up to 6 km (3.7 miles) and was between 150 and 200 m (490 - 650 feet) wide, max up to 350 m (1 150 feet) in some places.

It was on the ground for 7 to 9 minutes and had winds of about 180 - 200 km/h (112 - 125 mph), making it an EF-2 category.

"After field investigation, it appears that it could have been multiple vortex tornado," Marquis said. "That is, there were not 1 but potentially 2 distinct cones at certain times. Indeed, within the main corridor of damage, we have seen differences. Not all this is proven at 100 %, but it's likely."

Featured image credit: La Provence

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