VIDEO - Galilee residents witnessed an unusual event Tuesday evening as a “mini-tornado” swept threw the villages of Julis, Fassouta and Jedaideh.
The tornado descended to ground amid a storm that spewed hailstones as big as ping pong balls.
Cars were turned upside-down and electricity poles were broken. About 75 people were lightly injured from hailstones and road accidents caused by the storm.
Video: Michal Rosovsky
About 50 of the 75 people treated at the Nahariya hospital were injured from flying roofing tiles, infrastructure poles and flipped-over cars.
Farmers said the storm caused severe damage to crops and orchards. Some trees were uprooted by fast winds.
'An event of this kind is very rare in our region.' (Photo: Nizar)
Dr. Baruch Zvi, a climate expert at Tel Aviv University, said the storm carried the hallmarks of a “mini-tornado.”
'I suddenly spotted a huge white cloud'
“It seems that the conditions and phenomena that took place in the area match the condition of a mini-tornado that took place in the western Galilee. An event of this kind is very rare in our region. The last time a tornado took place in the area was in neighboring Cyprus. A few mini-tornadoes took place on the coast and in the Sharon area in the past,” he said.
Nizar Moussa of Jedaideh-Muaar was driving in his car in the center of the village when he noticed the cloud moving in a northeasterly direction. “Believe me, it was like a Tsunami. I thought Hurricane Katrina came to Israel,” he said.
Nitzan Shitrit of Tal Al told Ynet: “My parents woke me up from sleep after heavy hailstones fell in the village. I suddenly spotted a huge white cloud moving toward nearby Julis, blowing off roofing tiles. In our village electricity poles were broken, which cut off electricity from houses in the village for two hours.”