Tornado in eastern China kills five

Devastating: An aerial view showing damaged buildings after the tornado hit the city of Suqian, in Jiangsu province. — AFP

Beijing: A tornado in eastern China killed five people and seriously injured four others, state media said, the latest in a string of extreme weather events to strike the country.

“Yesterday afternoon, a strong tornado occurred in Suqian, Jiangsu province ... causing casualties and property loss in certain areas,” state broadcaster CCTV said.

More than 5,500 people were affected by the tornado, with 137 houses collapsed, according to “preliminary statistics” cited in the report yesterday.

More than 400 people have been temporarily relocated because of the twister, state media said.Video footage shared on social media by the state-run People’s Daily showed high winds whipping debris around above residential buildings, as well as a street strewn with fallen signs and other objects.

China saw record-breaking downpours and weeks of historic heat this summer, with scientists saying such extreme weather events are being exacerbated by climate change.

Weather officials stepped up warnings against heavy rain and strong winds in several regions, state media said yesterday.

Tuesday’s tornado was brief but fierce, with social media images showing overturned cars, downed power lines and flying debris, much of which littered the streets of Suqian, a city in the north of the province.

“I was at the door and witnessed the wind, solar energy devices, and trees flying in the air,” wrote one user in Weibo. — Agencies

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