A severe storm occurred in the morning of 20 March 2012 in Townsville around 5am. Media reports described a "mini-tornado" or "tornado-like storm" which unroofed houses, brought down powerlines and caused damage to the suburbs of Vincent, Pimloco, Gulliver, Garbutt and Aitkenvale.

10 houses were destroyed and a total of 115 homes were damaged. Residents described the event as comparable to the severity of Cyclone Yasi, with wind of more than 130 kilometres per hour and heavy driving rain. Over 7000 homes lost power and local schools were closed.

The Courier-Mail identified the event as a super cell storm which "spawned a twister equivalent to an Enhanced Fujita 1 or 2 tornado. Early damage bill estimates were $20 million.


The Courier-Mail - Townsville faces $20m clean-up bill

ABC News - 'Horrifying' storm smashes Townsville homes, Townsville begins clean-up after freak storm

Sydney Morning Herald - 'Worst storm in 40 years' hits Townsville

Brisbane Times - Picking up the pieces after Townville's tornado terror

Picture courtesy of Department of Community Safety

Link: Townsville City Council Disaster Information