A mile wide tornado has devastated a rural Canadian town on Canada Day, with celebration events across the country canceled amid further storm warnings.
Images captured and shared on social media show a huge tornado barreling through homes in the rural town of Didsbury, Alberta, earlier today.
Nearby towns including Carstairs where also impacted by the large scale storm which is said to have been moving at 25 miles per hour.
Environment and Climate Change Canada had issued alerts for the storm they said was producing a tornado, damaging winds, large hail and intense rainfall.
In a warning, they said: ‘Environment Canada meteorologists are tracking a severe thunderstorm that is producing a tornado.
‘Damaging winds, large hail and locally intense rainfall are also possible. This tornado is located near Didsbury and is moving southeast at 40 km/h. This is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation.
Storm chaser Aaron Jayjack shared the footage onto his Twitter page, which is filled with debris
The tornado is said to have ben moving at a speed of 40km/h and was considered potentially life-threatening
People are pictured here embracing after a tornado damaged their homes near Carstairs, Alberta
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police confirmed that a number of homes had been damaged and that people had been hurt, but they do not yet know the severity of those injuries.
The twister brought with it large balls of hail, with one person on social media describing them as the ‘biggest hail I have ever seen’.
Sharing images of what had landed on the ground in Didsbury, Randi Ingram posted: Hoping everyone is safe what a fast turn of weather.
‘This tornado touched down right in front of my parents house and took out houses, tractors, vehicles and farms.
‘In Didsbury we got smashed with some of the biggest hail I have ever seen.’
Melissa Boucher who manages a campground near Didsbury told Calgary CTV: ‘It was way too close for comfort.
‘I got an alert to my phone and typically what we do is drive around and tell everyone (at the campground) to stay inside and if they’re in a tent, to head to one of the outbuildings.
‘There wasn’t even time for that this time. There was like fist-sized hail and I looked outside and saw the funnel clouds. It was pretty quick and pretty terrifying.’
Pictures and video taken of Didsbury following the storm shows numerous homes devastated by the storm.
A large area of what is thought to have been woodland has been completely flattened, with broken twisted trees splattered across the area.
In total, 14 houses were affected by the tornado with five being completely destroyed.
One woman was trapped in her basement as her home was destroyed around her, but rescue crews managed to pull her from the rubble.
No people were injured, but 25 cows and 20 chickens died as a result of the tornado, with a horse also needing to be put down.
A woman looks for her belongings amongst the debris following the devastating storm
The damage left by the storm can be seen here, ripping trees apart and leaving a house in the background badly damaged with no roof
Ingram shared the images of the hail that had landed near his home in Didsbury and compared it to a Canadian dollar
Extensive damage is visible on homes in the town, with this one having no roof left following the storm
On Saturday night, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: ‘To those who were injured by the tornado near Didsbury, Alberta, and to those whose homes have been damaged: Canadians are here for you, and we are keeping you in our thoughts.
‘As officials continue to monitor the situation, please stay safe.’
Due to the severe weather sweeping parts of the country, the federal Department of Canadian Heritage suspended Canada Day activities in the capital, Ottawa.
In a mid-day bulletin, the government agency said: ‘Canadian Heritage’s Canada Day activities in the National Capital Region are suspended until further notice.
Prime Minister Trudeau tweeted that his thoughts are with those affected and that officials would be continuing to monitor the situation
Half of the tiling on the roof of this property had been stripped back due to the tornado
The City of Ottawa posted online that people in the downtown area who needed to seek shelter from the storm could do so at City Hall.
Canada’s national holiday is always observed on July 1st after The British North America Act which was signed on that day in 1867 created Canada.
Latest figures show that there is currently 552 fires burning across the country, with 281 of them being out of control.
At two separate times last month the smoke had crossed over into the United States bringing with it terrible air quality for millions.
New York City: The Statue of Liberty stands in front of a hazy New York City skyline in this view from Jersey City, New Jersey
Washington DC: Cars are seen in this picture driving in the hazy smoke on South Capitol Street towards the Capitol Building
On Thursday, smoke from the fires caused more than 120 million Americans to be placed under ‘very unhealthy’ air quality alerts.
Chicago, Cleveland, Maryland and Pittsburgh were the worst affected by the fog, with a Code Red alert being issued for much of the Mid West and Washington DC.
The latest blanket of smoke that descended on parts of the states earlier this week came three weeks after New York City was enveloped by smoke from the same fires.
At the time, health experts warned breathing the fog can be as damaging as smoking 22 cigarettes a day.