98 dead, hundreds injured in China extreme weather

World Today

Photo on June 23, 2016 shows a tornado-damaged power pole in Funing County, east China’s Jiangsu Province. A tornado hit Funing County Thursday afternoon. (Weibo/CCTV)

A tornado, hail storms and driving rain flattened power lines, overtuned cars and ripped of roofs of houses, killing at least 98 people and injuring some 800 in eastern China on Thursday in Jiangsu province.

The storms battered parts of Yancheng City at 2:30 p.m. local time, destroying many houses, the city government said in a press release.

The disaster has been declared a national-level emergency, and on a trip to Uzbekistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered central government bodies to provide all necessary assistance.

Tents and other emergency supplies were already being sent from Beijing.

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

Gales of 125 kilometers (78 miles) per hour battered several outer townships of Funing County, while in Sheyang, the winds reached 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour.

Many houses collapsed in the gales, with 51 deaths reported and dozens of injuries as of 8:30 p.m.

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

Story by Xinhua, Reuters.

Heavy downpours also triggered large-scale flood and mudflow in the city of Zhaotong, southwest China’s Yunnan province, on Tuesday, damaging buildings and forcing over 2,100 people to evacuate.
In one of Zhaotong’s worst-hit villages the Lianghe village, the devastating flash flood broke down and swept away a three-story building near a river.