Tornado damage
Aerial photo of the damage done by a tornado in Xanxerê, Brazil. Battalion of Air Operations - Santa Catarina Military Firefighters

A tornado flattened a city in southern Brazil, causing over 1,000 people to evacuate their homes.

The National Institute of Meteorology said a supercell storm created the tornado that hit Xanxere city in Santa Catarina on Monday. Scientists have recorded winds of up to 200 miles per hour.

One of the dead was identified as Jamil Francisco da Silva, who was the driver of a bus carrying farm workers from the countryside into the city.

According to Agencia Brasil, the vehicle was swept away by the tornado and overturned, killing the driver and also injuring several farmers.

The other death occurred in a gym, when strong winds smashed through part of the roof, falling on Mateus Pereira, who was playing football with friends.

According to official data, the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil is the region that suffers more tornadoes are more common during the second half of the year.

The storm wreaked carnage, damaging 500 homes and levelling lamposts. Many residents were left without electricity. At least two people were killed and 120 have been hospitalised, said Luciano Peri, Santa Catarina's civil defence director.

According to an AP report, cars were blown around like skittles and upended, homes were smashed and left roofless. Residents spoke of a black cloud that engulfed neighbourhoods, leaving them in total darkness. Power supplies are still said to be down.

Tornadoes are uncommon in Brazil except in the region at the country's borders with Argentina and Uruguay, where the warm, moist air from the Amazon jungle meets with the cold winds of the Andes – and can result in supercell storms.

In 2009, more than 14 people were killed and dozens injured in the wake of a tornado in the border area of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.