Whirlwind injures 16, damages hundreds of houses in western Indonesia

JAKARTA (Xinhua) – A total of 16 people were wounded and hundreds of houses were damaged as whirlwind struck West Java province in western Indonesia, disaster agency official said yesterday.

The natural disaster destroyed more than 371 houses in Jelagong village of Bandung district, triggering villagers to flee home and take shelters, spokesman of national disaster management agency Sutopo Purwo Nugroho told Xinhua.

“The scale of the impact is looked to extend as risks assessment is getting underway,” Sutopo added.

Makeshift tents were set up to facilitate evacuees, the spokesman said, without giving the number of displaced villagers.

Tents, tarpaulin, clean water and food were among the dire needs of the affected people, said Sutopo.

Indonesia is often stricken by whirlwind, a weather phenomenon in which a vortex of wind, vertically oriented rotating column of air, formed because of instabilities and turbulence created by heating and flow gradients.