A tornado hit a small town in the Gard department in southern France yesterday (October 30) during a bout of storms in the Occitanie region.
Uprooted trees blocked roads and homes were damaged by falling branches.
Thankfully, no one in the town of Poulx was injured, “though some people had to be rehoused,” said the head of the local police force Stéphane Liberi.
Although brief, lasting less than a minute, weather observatory Keraunos classed the storm as a tornado.
‘Never seen anything like it’
Gard was facing a tier-two alert for stormy weather yesterday, but the tornado arrived unexpectedly without prior warning.
“I've never seen anything like it, it's scary when you're not used to it,” said one resident to French media outlet BFMTV. “It was crazy, it lasted maybe 20 seconds and I saw everything flying out of the window,” he added.
The video below taken by a resident of Poulx shows the tornado passing by homes in the area.
Homes damaged, roads blocked
Despite the briefness of the storm, a number of buildings were damaged by the tornado, largely caused by trees being uprooted.
Police officers and firefighters arrived quickly at the town although some were temporarily blocked by trees on key access roads.
Mr Liberi said at least two roofs had been “completely damaged” by falling trees, leading to residents being temporarily rehomed.
Below are a series of videos taken by local news outlets showing trees that had fallen with firefighters working late into the night to deal with the damage.
This final video shows firefighters using a crane to reach the roof of one of the destroyed homes.