LONDON,29 DECEMBER, 2023 – The Liberal Democrats of the United Kingdom have encouraged Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to hold an emergency cabinet meeting after a strong tornado hit Greater Manchester and resulted in the evacuation of some 100 homes, Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said Thursday. “Hundreds of lives have been thrown into chaos with homes destroyed after Christmas. It’s devastating Rishi Sunak needs to call an urgent COBRA [Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms] meeting to ensure a swift, robust recovery plan so those affected can begin rebuilding their lives,” UK broadcaster Sky News quoted Hobhouse as saying. She added that “any delay could have a devastating impact on families already displaced whose lives have been turned upside down by this tornado.” UK weather service Met Office said earlier this week that tornado in Greater Manchester was caused by a “supercell thunderstorm,” which is followed by strong upward air currents. The Tornado and Storm Research Organisation confirmed Wednesday that the tornado hit with a provisional maximum damage rating of T5 on the T scale.

In such tornadoes, wind speeds can reach almost 260 kilometers (161.6 miles) per hour, lifting heavy trucks, destroying the electricity poles, tearing roofs off buildings and razing old buildings to the ground. Moreover, powerful Storm Gerrit, which hit the country the day before, continues to rage in the UK. It brought strong wind and rain, and a yellow weather danger level was introduced in several regions. Met Office recorded wind gusts of up to 130 kilometers per hour. Some 3,000 remain cut off from power supply, while air, rail and ferry transportation was disrupted. The day before, UK air carrier British Airways canceled nearly 20 flights, and at the port of Dover, from which the Channel crossing takes place, there were long queues with a waiting time of two hours before border control.

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