Environment Canada issued tornado warnings for several spots in the southwest corner of Manitoba on Monday afternoon after a twister touched down in the Turtle Mountain area.

Best place to hide is the basement

According to most weather authorities, your best option in the event of a tornado is to head for your basement.

If you don't have one, get in a closet or small room near the centre of the building, away from windows or doors.

Environment Canada suggests getting into the bathtub and covering yourself with a mattress. Otherwise, get underneath a sturdy piece of furniture that can help shield you from falling or flying debris.

If you're caught outdoors or in a vehicle, find the nearest ditch and lie low with your head shielded by your arms.

If you're in a mobile home, get out and find a permanent shelter (preferably with a basement) or find a ditch. According to Environment Canada, more than half of all tornado deaths occur in mobile homes.

At 2:45 p.m. CT, warnings were issued for the rural municipalities of Morton and Turtle Mountain, including the communities of Boissevain, Killarney and Lena, as well as Turtle Mountain Provincial Park.

The tornado warnings were downgraded to severe thunderstorm warnings shortly after 3 p.m., but Environment Canada warned that large hail, damaging winds and torrential downpours were possible in the storm systems.

RCMP reported receiving a 911 call regarding a tornado touching down at Lake Metigoshe, near Deloraine, Man., around 2:30 p.m.

Witnesses at the scene told CBC News the twister damaged buildings, structures and boats on the west side of the lake. There have been no reports of any injuries.

"I was coming down the highway back to the resort here and we seen stuff in the air," Mike Morrison, co-owner of the Turtle Mountain Resort, which is on the lake, told CBC News.

"When I got here … I could just hear the banging, crashing of the boats, and the whole shoreline of Lake Metigoshe on the west side is totally destroyed. Rooftops are gone, and our neighbour's boat went through the air into the middle of the lake."

By 2:40 p.m., the storm was affecting the area around the International Peace Garden, on the international border south of Boissevain. It's not clear whether the funnel cloud was still on the ground at that time, officials said.

By 3:10, it appeared the system had moved further east, said Environment Canada.

A tornado warning is issued when twisters are occurring or are detected on radar. A warning is more serious than a watch, which is issued when severe thunderstorms have developed and there is the possibility of one or more tornadoes developing.

During a watch, people should make a plan for what they would do if a tornado occurs, Environment Canada recommends.

During a warning, they should take shelter.

People who see funnels or tornadoes are encouraged to report them to Environment Canada at 1-800-239-0484, once it is safe to do so.