Tornado kills 14 in southern Chad

Ndjamena - At least 14 people were killed and more than 100 were injured when a ferocious tornado virtually wiped out the small town of Bebedjia in south-eastern Chad, police said on Tuesday.

"A violent storm accompanied by a vortex (tornado) struck the town yesterday (Monday) evening. It began at around 4.00pm (15h00 GMT) and provoked general panic among the population," prefect Mbainodji Barthelemy said in a telephone interview.

"This storm of such incredible violence lasted for about 20 minutes and caused enormous material and human damage. This morning, we have counted 14 dead and 145 seriously injured," Mbainodji said.

"Ninety-five percent of the town was destroyed," he added.

An equally violent second storm followed at around 10pm, increasing the damage to this town located near the Doba oil fields, Mbainodji said.

A similar meteorological phenomenon took place on May 2 near Ndjamena, leaving nine dead and around 100 injured and destroying about 50 houses. - Sapa-AFP

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