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F3 twister was one of Ontario's strongest and deadliest.

On this day: 1970 Sudbury tornado left six people dead

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    Daniel Martins
    Digital Reporter

    Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 9:12 AM -

    Today marks the anniversary of the F3 tornado that killed six people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes in Ontario's Nickel Belt.

    The twister struck on August 20, 1970, causing catastrophic damage to Sudbury and the nearby communities of Field and Lively.

    Residents had little warning; The Sudbury airport did not have the right kind of radar to detect the signs of a tornado.

    The twister was a little unusual in that tornadoes of that strength -- an F3 tornado boasts winds up to 332 km/h -- are rarely observed that far north in Ontario.

    Still, technically any thunderstorm has the potential to produce a tornado. 

    As recently as June, the Greater Sudbury area was under a tornado warning lasting 40 minutes before being downgraded to a severe thunderstorm warning.

    Canada sees the second-largest number of tornadoes per year (currently the average is around 60).

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