Japan's worst tornado in decades ripped through a town just east of Tokyo, injuring 78 people and leaving hundreds homeless, police said Wednesday.

More than 5,000 households remained without electricity and 800 without working telephones today, police said. They said 250 people whose homes were destroyed by Tuesday night's tornado were now housed in a gymnasium.Electricity to 87,700 households was cut off after the tornado passed through Mobara and nearby areas in Chiba prefecture, Tokyo's eastern neighbor.

The twister destroyed or damaged 938 homes or buildings and 162 cars as it passed through the community of about 77,000 people.

No one was killed, but seven people were seriously injured, police said. City officials estimated damage at $13 million.