Watch as 'mini tornado' wreaks havoc in Barking, east London

25 June 2021, 22:14 | Updated: 5 July 2021, 10:49

Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

This is the shocking moment a "mini tornado" wreaked havoc on the residents of a street in Barking, east London.

Dozens of homes and vehicles appear to have been damaged on Hulse Avenue and some surrounding roads following the freak weather system shortly after 7pm on Friday evening.

Astonishing footage posted on social media shows walls and fences being knocked down as the terrifying storm made its way over a residential area.

Trees and litter were seen flying across the street as what looked like a mini twister left a trail of destruction.

Warning: The video below contains language some viewers may find offensive.

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One video posted on YouTube showed the moment a wall was toppled over by what residents were describing as a tornado.

The man recording the footage could be heard saying: "What is happening? Our bin's gone. Oh my God."

He added: "What the hell is happening? Oh s***, mum, mum! The wall broke! The whole wall broke. Oh my God. Oh my days.

"I think I'm in a tornado."

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Footage posted on social media appears to show the formation of the mini tornado in Barking
Footage posted on social media appears to show the formation of the mini tornado in Barking. Picture: Twitter

Another video appeared to show storm clouds beginning to form a spinning vortex in the grey sky above some houses.

Other videos appeared to show the aftermath and chaos caused by the storm.

Police said there are no reports of casualties but roofs, electrical equipment, street furniture and vehicles were damaged.

There has not yet been an official confirmation of a tornado in the area.

Barking and Dagenham Police wrote in a tweet: "Police were called at around 1920hrs to reports of damage caused to roofs, electrical equipment, street furniture and vehicles in Hulse Avenue and some surrounding roads in the #Barking area.

"This is a weather-related incident, during which there was a lightning strike.

"In addition to the lightning strike, we have seen reports of a tornado but cannot confirm this.

"There are no reports of any casualties. Officers are liaising with the local authority to ensure support is available to anyone affected by damage to property."

Barking and Dagenham Council wrote on Twitter: "We're aware of the severe weather damage in the Barking area and our Immediate Response team along with the police and fire brigade are on hand sorting any issues.

"As soon as we hear of any further information, we will let you know."

Met Office forecaster Matthew Box said it is "probable that a brief tornado did occur" in east London.

A series of meteorological conditions are required to create such an event, including a funnel of cloud that reaches the ground, and these various factors have not been confirmed by experts.

Mr Box said: "The associated thunderstorms produced some very heavy and impactful rain over parts of north and east London and Essex which did result in flooding and travel disruption."

He added that none of the Met Office's sites recorded the wind associated with the event, mainly because "it was on a small scale relatively speaking".

He said: "For those affected, there were very damaging winds."

The Met Office had issued a yellow thunderstorm warning on Friday evening which expired at 11pm.

There are about 35 tornadoes on average in the UK each year which would possibly cover "tens to hundreds of metres" and not be on the large scale that you might find in the US, Mr Box said.