51 people killed by a powerful tornado in China

Beijing: At least 51 people were killed and dozens injured on Thursday by a powerful tornado as extreme weather wrecked havoc in east China's Jiangsu province, officials said.

Downpours, hailstorms and a tornado battered parts of Yancheng City at 2.30 pm, destroying many houses, the city government said in a statement.

 51 people killed by a powerful tornado in China

rescuers carry a woman on a stretcher through a flooded area in China. AP

It said the extreme weather was reported in several townships of Funing and Sheyang counties in the suburbs of Yancheng.

Gales of 125 km per hour battered several outer townships of Funing County, while in Sheyang, the winds reached 100 km per hour.

Many houses collapsed in the gales, with 51 deaths and dozens of injuries reported.

Top officials of Yancheng City are leading rescue and relief efforts in the affected villages.

On Wednesday the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said  42 people were killed and 25 missing in China's 10 provincial-level regions in heavy rains in the last five days.

More than 460,000 people were relocated and 321,000 are in urgent need of emergency relief after continuous rainfall in the 10 regions in southern part of China including Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei and Sichuan, since 18 June, the ministry said.

About 6,800 houses collapsed and many crops were destroyed, leading to an economic loss of 9.67 billion yuan (USD 1.46 billion), it said.

A river in Poyang County, Jiangxi, breached its banks Monday evening and more than 500 police have been despatched to mend a 100-metre breach in the river defences.

The MCA also launched an emergency mechanism to obtain data via China's remote sensing satellites and monitor the situation.

The ministry will also use drones and high-definition satellite pictures to monitor and analyse damage to residences, roads and farmland, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Updated Date: Jun 23, 2016 20:05:30 IST



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