A Ceredigion village has been hit overnight by what is being described as a small tornado.

A clean-up is under way after emergency services were called to Bow Street, north of Aberystwyth, at 0130 GMT.

More than 20 houses were affected with roofs and chimneys blown off, while electricity cables have been brought down and trees uprooted.

Residents said houses shook before the storm hit, sounding like a train crashing. No one has been injured.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesman said: "It was apparent that what is believed to be a tornado had struck parts of the village

"Commercial and residential premises, vehicles and caravans were damaged."

Kevin Walsh, the owner of a bungalow which had its chimney ripped off by high winds, said: "At quarter past one this morning I heard a rumble coming, didn't know what it was, and then it hit the house.

"The house shook, I heard a crash. I came outside and found the (chimney) stack here on the ground.

"It hit us first and then sliced a path through the village.

"Across the road there's a house there whose roof has been taken off. Further down another roof's been taken off. "

Wynford Davies, whose house is on the main road through the village, said: "There was an amazing bang at about 1.15am - it was like a train running out of control.

Caravan was upturned and trees were brought down

"Within about four minutes it had gone. I rushed outside to see the chimney had been taken off the roof and it was on the road."

He added he believed thousands of pounds worth of damage had been caused to his house.

Wayne Clarke who lives on the village's Maes Y Fechan estate said: "One of my bedroom windows was blown in but luckily no-one was in the room at the time.

"The only way I can describe the noise was it was like thunder. Tiles were blown off my roof, four of my neighbours' cars were damaged."

The main road through Bow Street - the A487 - was closed for four hours while the properties were made safe and the highways authority cleared debris

Council highways officer Andy Dunn said: "A number of cars have been damaged with falling debris.

"A caravan's been turned over, part of a roof's been taken off and I believe there's a few trees which have fallen across the railway line from Machynlleth to Aberystwyth."

British Transport Police said a railway bridge has been damaged and about half a mile of track through the village has been littered with debris.

It is thought the line between Aberystwyth and Borth could be closed for much of the day.

A spokesperson for the Met Office said it was too early to confirm whether it was a tornado that had hit the village.

A spokesperson said: "It's very difficult to tell at this stage - we really need to see the impact in the daylight.

"It often leaves a trail mark if it is a tornado. It's certainly a possibility."