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Tornadoes Leave Hundreds of Victims in China

Tornadoes Leave Hundreds of Victims in China

Saturday, 15 May, 2021 - 05:45
Workers clear debris at a factory that was damaged by a reported tornado in Shengze township in Suzhou in eastern China's Jiangsu Province on May 15, 2021. (Chinatopix via AP)

Tornadoes killed at least 10 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured, officials and state media reported Saturday.

Six people died in the inland city of Wuhan and four others in the town of Shengze, about 400 kilometers east in Jiangsu province, local government statements said.

A tornado first struck Shengze about 7 p.m. Friday, toppling factory buildings and damaging electricity facilities, the official Xinhua News Agency said. The Suzhou city government, which oversees the town, said in a social media post that four people had died and 149 others had minor injuries. Shengze is near Shanghai on China’s east coast.

A tornado then hit Wuhan about 8:40 p.m. with winds of 86 kilometers per hour, destroying more than two dozen homes and triggering a power outage affecting 26,600 households, Xinhua reported. The Wuhan government said six people had died and 218 were injured.

Xinhua said that 27 homes collapsed in Wuhan, and another 130 were damaged. Construction site sheds and two cranes were also damaged, while downed power lines knocked out electricity, the news agency reported.

Photos showed a swarm of rescuers searching through building debris in Wuhan after midnight Friday and workers clearing metallic debris at a factory in Shengze in the morning.

China's commercial hub of Shanghai, 100 km from Suzhou, was also hit by powerful thunderstorms, prompting weather officials to declare an alert.

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