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A rare tornado touches down on Oahu

Craig T. Kojima / staradvertiser.com

A home in Lanikai was severely damaged by a waterspout that came ashore in Oahu on Friday, March 9. The front and back of home was damaged.

msnbc.com staff reports: A rare tornado blew roofs off homes and left other damage in its path through the Hawaiian communities of Lanikai and Enchanted Lake on Oahu, weather officials confirmed Friday.

A National Weather Service  team surveying damage and talking to witnesses determined a waterspout came ashore and was reclassified as a tornado in Lanikai about 7:30 a.m. The 20-yard-wide tornado traveled about 1.5 miles in 15 minutes to Enchanted Lake with wind speeds reaching 60 to 70 mph before dissipating, officials said.

Hawaii, known for its famous sunshine, has been hit with unusually harsh weather for about a week.

Burl Burlingame / staradvertiser.com

Kaeo DePonte stands with a trampoline lifted out of an Enchanted Lake yard by high winds on Friday morning.

A 30-minute hail storm on Friday in Oahu was “unprecedented ,” Tom Birchard, senior meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Honolulu, told the Associated Press. Some of the hail stones have been unusually large for the islands -- the size of marbles and discs more than a half inch long, weather.com reported.

The islands also saw heavy rains and thunderstorms  that closed schools, flooded homes and led to sewage spills. Landslides, power outages and roads blocks by trees, boulders and mud were reported.

Some vacationers in the tropical paradise had their vacations dampened.

When heavy rains canceled flights out of Kauai after midnight on Tuesday, about 20 passengers were stuck at the airport.

The heavy rains were expected to subside by Saturday.

There were no reports of deaths or injuries due to the storm.


Burl Burlingame / staradvertiser.com

A section of a roof was blown off by a waterspout that came ashore in Enchanted Lake on Friday morning.