November 16, 2012 / 4:56 PM / in 6 years

Tornado-like winds hit Portugal's Algarve, 8 injured

LISBON (Reuters) - Violent winds hit south Portugal’s Algarve region on Friday, overturning cars and vans, some with people inside, blowing rooftops off houses and smashing windows.

Eight people were injured and taken to hospital and many areas suffered from flooding. Television footage showed a funnel-shaped rotating column of air approaching the shore from the Atlantic near the town of Lagos.

Meteorologist Maria Frade said the weather phenomenon “definitely resembled a tornado judging from the video”, but would not immediately confirm if it was one.

Firefighters said most of those injured had to be pulled out of overturned vehicles.

Algarve is a popular tourism destination, although November is low season.

Tornadoes are not common in Europe, but do occur occasionally in the northwest and south of the continent.

Reporting By Andrei Khalip; Editing by Pravin Char

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