Thunderstorms and tornadoes plowed through central Indiana on Wednesday, leveling a Starbucks shop in the city of Kokomo and knocking out electricity to thousands of Indianapolis-area homes, but no injuries were immediately reported, authorities said.
The National Weather Service issued a bulletin saying a “confirmed large and extremely dangerous” tornado had struck near Indianapolis, the state’s capital and largest city, and was headed east.
The Weather Service also reported that a Starbucks coffee shop was demolished in Kokomo, a city of 45,000 people about 60 miles (97 km) north of Indianapolis, but said there were no immediate reports of injuries.
AccuWeather reported that two severe thunderstorms had produced tornadoes, one just northwest of Indianapolis and the other in the Kokomo area, which according to media reports appeared to have borne the brunt of the storms.
Television station WLS-TV in Chicago, an ABC News affiliate, reported that at least five tornadoes had struck Indiana, hitting the towns of Kokomo, Arcana, Geneva and Crawfordsville, but said there were no indications of serious injuries.
Local television station WTHR reported that in addition to the flattened Starbucks, a tornado had caused substantial damage to a shopping mall.
Footage posted on the station’s website showed a dark, swirling storm with flashes of lightning as cars passed by along wet roads in the area.
Photos posted on social medial showed homes with siding ripped off and scattered debris in yards. Another photo showed a barn reduced to rubble.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, tweeted: “Keeping Hoosiers and first responders in our prayers as dangerous weather moves through Indiana.”
More than 22,000 customers were without power north of Indianapolis, Duke Energy reported on its website. Another utility, the Indianapolis Power and Light Company, said roughly 11,000 customers were without electricity in the afternoon.
Howard County emergency management and sheriff’s office officials said they were gathering information on the extent of damage in the area and whether there were any casualties.
The county issued a state of emergency to remain in effect until 9 p.m. EDT.
“Please avoid any areas affected by the tornadoes – do not drive to look at damage – allow emergency crews to do their work,” the county tweeted.
Tornado warnings were issued before 3 p.m. local time as a storm moved through Boone and Montgomery counties, including Crawfordsville, a city of some 16,000 residents about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Indianapolis.
Courtesy of wncy.com
A sudden dust storm blew over Doha on Wednesday afternoon, which resulted in a sharp drop in visibility and caught people unawares.
Dusty conditions were reported from other parts of Qatar, too, along with rain, strong winds and poor visibility.
The storm in Doha did not last long but was intense enough to leave buildings and vehicles coated in dust.
People took to social media, posting images and videos of the storm that swept the capital and beyond.
Explaining the phenomenon, the Met department tweeted in the afternoon (after 3pm) that “Doha is being affected by dust due to temporary, strong downdraft winds resulting from thunder cells in the north”. It also said visibility was expected to improve gradually and advised people to be careful in view of the prevailing conditions.
Earlier, the weather office had warned that thunder cells had been detected towards Ghuwairiyah and Sheehaniyah. “Watch out for strong winds and low visibility,” it said on Twitter.
Thundery rain was reported from the north of Sheehaniyah and west of Al Khor, accompanied by windy and dusty conditions that led to a drop in visibility.
Sometime later, the Met department tweeted that the rain had moved eastward towards the Al Khor coast and another thunder cell had formed southwest of Sheehaniyah. Thunder cells were detected towards Batna, too, along with temporary strong winds and poor visibility due to dust, while similar conditions were also reported from the Abu Samra road and Karanah.
The weather office later said the dust was expected to dissipate and visibility would improve gradually in all areas.
Courtesy of gulf-times.com