TOKYO (AP) _ A tornado roared through a small Japanese island today, injuring six people and destroying nine homes.

Police said among those hurt by the twister that struck the central part of Hachijo Island, about 200 miles south of Tokyo, was a 50-year-old fisherman who broke his rib in a fall from his roof while repairing damage from an earlier storm.

Several minutes before the tornado struck, an observatory on the island recorded 82 mph winds, the Meteorological Agency said.

Tornadoes, while not unknown in this mountainous nation, are a rare occurrence.