Earthquake, tornado, storms hit Canada G20 summit area

Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:30pm EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - International leaders might be forgiven if they nervously eye the skies above and the ground below as they gather for summits of the Group of Eight and the Group of 20 in Canada's province of Ontario this weekend.

In the past 24 hours alone, southern Ontario has been hit by a 5.0 magnitude earthquake and a tornado. Violent thunderstorms are predicted for later on Thursday.

"You can't go four days in a row without having some moisture ... what they're seeing is the full suite of weather possibilities at this time of year, beginning with a tornado," said Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips.

Might a plague of frogs be next?

"It's unlikely because there doesn't seem to be any weather in the area, like dust devils or waterspouts picking up frogs from wetlands and carrying them over there," Phillips told Reuters.

The weather in the resort of Huntsville, where the G8 will meet on Friday and Saturday, is set to be pleasant, with temperatures around 23 Celsius (73 Fahrenheit).

Phillips has another reason for leaders to be optimistic.

"There's no volcanic activity in that area so I think they're safe from that point of view," he said.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Cooney)

<p>A woman wearing a mask resembling the face of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper dances in the streets ahead of the G20 summit in Toronto, June 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>