A brief tornado has ripped through parts of Surrey.

Residents in the area have described the high winds come "out of nowhere" on what otherwise was a calm day on Saturday, December 21.

Cars, houses and gardens have been left badly damaged in what one person described as the "most terrifying experience".

The tornado hit Chertsey and Shepperton at around 10.30am.

This video by Cameron Bramley shoes the moment the tornado struck on CCTV installed in his back garden.

Fence panels were sent flying as the winds swirled around the gardens.

Annalie Melham, who lives with her family of five at one of the worst affected houses, spoke  to Surrey Live .

She said: "I was in the top bedroom and literally the house began to shake, I looked out the window and started to scream as all I could see was debris going past.

"It was the most terrifying experience, but it was very quick.

"We’ve got holes in the roof, five vehicles with smashed windows and dents.

"The neighbourly spirit is amazing, everybody has come out of their houses and they are all tidying up, it’s just amazing the community spirit, we all look out for each other and they’ve all been lovely.

"We’ve got a hole in the roof, there’s gales forecast so we don’t know really [what we’re going to do].

"Hopefully get some scaffolding up and replan for Christmas."

Fences and trees have fallen down
Roads blocked by a falling tree
Some sheds didn't survive

What do the emergency services say?

Surrey Fire & Rescue had around 25 firefighters at the scene.

Tim Readings, assistant group commander and incident commander of this incident, told Surrey Live: "We got called here at about 10.30am to a report of a tornado. There are in excess of 20 houses with damaged roofs and 10 private cars that have been damaged by falling tiles. There are fences and trees down.

"We are using two aerial appliances, one from Leatherhead and one from Guildford, and firefighters from various stations to make it safe and remove any dangerous tiles and support residents, because obviously this has happened right before Christmas so we are doing everything we can.

"The residents have been great, very supportive."

Was it actually a tornado?

It certainly seems so - though it was a very brief one.

Images from the Met Office show a rapid circulation of air on the radar.

In a statement the Met Office said: "There have been reports of a tornado in Chertsey, Surrey this morning. The radar image on the left shows the heavy shower that would have caused it. The Doppler image on the right shows relative motion of rain droplets; the circled area highlights the rapid circulation."

The circled area shows the quickly circulating air

Marco Petagna, from the Met Office team, said: "Within thunder storm clouds the air starts to rotate, moving in different directions, leading to different wind directions.

"This causes the wind rotation that starts the tornadoes off, called ‘wind shear’.

"The wind speed and direction changes as it goes up into the atmosphere, and these can touch down onto the ground briefly or sometimes not touch down at all.

"In America tornadoes can last much longer, but on this occasion it was very brief."