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Firemen work next to a construction crane that collapsed during a violent storm that hit La Chaux-de-Fonds, northwestern Switzerland. Image Credit: AFP

Geneva: One person died and several were injured in northwestern Switzerland on Monday after a "likely tornado" caused significant damage in a city in the mountains, officials said.

The storm hit the watchmaking city of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the Jura mountains in the Neuchatel region.

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A worker remove parts of a construction crane that collapsed during a violent storm that hit La Chaux-de-Fonds. Image Credit: AFP

"The felling of a crane" near the railway station caused the sole fatality, Neuchatel police said, adding: "We deplore the many injuries."

The storm passed through quickly but the strong winds caused significant damage.

Vehicles were damaged or destroyed, roofs were torn off, street furniture was blown away and trees were uprooted.

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A view of a house whose roof has been blowed off after a violent storm hit the aera in Le Cret-du-Locle near La Chaux-de-Fonds. Image Credit: AFP

"A likely tornado associated with a rapidly developing storm along the Jura" hit La Chaux-de-Fonds in the late morning, according to the Swiss national weather service.

"A gust at 217 kilometres (135 miles) per hour was recorded by our station at La Chaux-de-Fonds aerodrome this Monday morning, under a storm cell which suddenly strengthened when arriving in the region," MeteoSwiss said on Twitter.

Rescue and clean-up operations are under way, while the Neuchatel police urged people not to expose themselves to risks such as falling tiles or trees.

It also warned that further storms were likely and urged people to avoid going outside.