Dozens injured after tornado hits eastern Japan

A police officer walks next to houses damaged by what seemed to be a tornado in Koshigaya.

TOKYO - Several dozen people were injured when a tornado ripped through parts of eastern Japan on Monday, tearing off roofs and uprooting buildings.

Footage aired by public broadcaster NHK showed a number of homes destroyed, schools with shattered windows and a warehouse that had been lifted from its foundations and hurled into other buildings in Koshigaya city, north of Tokyo.

At least 27 people were injured in the city alone, local police said, without elaborating on the severity of the injuries.

NHK said a few dozen people were taken to hospital, all with minor injuries.

"We are preparing evacuation shelters, while also readying emergency supplies," said an official of the fire department in Koshigaya.

The electricity supply was cut for some 30,000 households in Saitama prefecture, probably after lightning hit the area, according to utility Tokyo Electric Power which provides power in the area.