Mini-tornado hits Queensland town

Alexandra Pleffer, ninemsn
3:06pm January 26, 2013
A fallen power pole in Bargara.
A fallen power pole in Bargara.

A mini-tornado has hit the coastal Queensland town of Bargara, bringing down trees and power lines.

Police have declared a disaster situation and are urging motorists to avoid the town, near Bundaberg, and to only travel if necessary.

A man is also believed to be trapped in a car in a critical condition after a tree fell on the vehicle.

"We have major power lines down, we have an extremely serious accident … it looks like a pine tree has come down and crushed the vehicle," Bundaberg councillor Greg Barnes told ABC Wide Bay.

"We have a number of pine trees which are just swaying here so this whole area is extremely unsafe at the moment."

The local Woolworths has collapsed, roofs have been torn off and people may have lost their lives in the disaster, Seven journalist Pippa Bradshaw posted on Twitter.

Damage at the Bargara shopping centre carpark.
Damage at the Bargara shopping centre carpark.

It is believed the tornado may have been a waterspout when it first made landfall, Queensland Online reported.

Emergency crews are at the scene.

The council is in the process of setting up an evacuation centre at the Bundaberg Civic Centre for residents unable to return to their homes.

Source: Queensland Police, ABC Wide Bay, Queensland Online, Pippa Bradshaw, NewsMail

Author: Alexandra Pleffer, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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