In a freak incident, at least a dozen people were injured and more than 50 houses were damaged after a tornado hit a village in Punjab’s Fazilka district. Several videos surfaced on social media on Friday evening showing a massive whirlpool swirling in Bakenwala village of the district, tearing off roofs, damaging property and uprooting trees in the area.
The tornado also damaged standing crops in the fields and kinnow (orange) orchards, officials said, as reported by PTI.
Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Bakenwala told the agency, "Villagers saw the tornado around 4 pm on Friday." It caused damage in a 2-2.5-km area, he said.
A Twitter user, sharing a video of the destruction, wrote, “Something which we only saw in movies on midwest US happened in Punjab yesterday.”
Something which we only saw in movies on midwest US happened in Punjab yesterday.— Man Aman Singh Chhina (@manaman_chhina) March 25, 2023
This tornado left a trail of destruction in Fazilka. pic.twitter.com/lHHizQMagq
“Huge tornado in Fazilka, Punjab. Climate change is real,” read another tweet.\
Huge tornado in Fazilka, Punjab. Climate change is real. pic.twitter.com/2aXZHFkVgy— Manpinder Pal Singh (@Manpunstar) March 25, 2023
Tornado in Punjab...— Hima Gharu (@GharuHimansshu) March 25, 2023
My goodness #Punjab #Tornado #Tornadodamage #NaturalDisaster pic.twitter.com/Is31BV4vyt
While heavy storms are common in Malwa region of Punjab that borders Rajasthan, it rarely resulted in the violently rotating column of air, called a tornado.
Deputy Commissioner Senu Duggal, who visited the affected village, said the administration shifted those villagers whose houses were damaged to the local government school.
"The administration will also begin the process to assess the loss of property and crop that will be compensated by the government," Duggal said.
The injured have been admitted to the civil hospital in Fazilka.