Monday, May 20, 2024
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Tornado kills one in eastern China as country faces high temps

BEIJING (AP) – A tornado blew through 11 villages in a farming region of eastern China, damaging homes, killing at least one person and injuring 25 others, while swaths of the country face extreme heat.

The homes and property of more than 2,000 people were damaged when the twister struck on Wednesday in Jiangsu province south of Beijing.

Total damage was estimated at around CNY65 million, the newspaper Global Times reported, citing local media.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in China, although 12 people were killed and more than 300 injured in Jiangsu and the central city of Wuhan by tornadoes last year.

China’s most violent tornado in recent decades killed 98 and injured more than 800 in Jiangsu in 2016.

As with much of the northern hemisphere, parts of China have seen record-high temperatures this summer and unusually heavy rainfall is exacerbating seasonal flooding.

Climate change is considered a factor in both the warmer temperatures and heavier rainfall, as well as more frequent extreme weather.

Temperatures as high as 43 Celsius were forecast until the end of the month for a broad swath of China, from the far northwestern Xinjiang region bordering on Central Asia to Changsha and Nanchang and the metropolis of Fuzhou.

In the central city of Yichang, drivers parked air conditioned buses not in circulation during the middle of the day for construction workers and others to use to escape the heat, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

A health worker sits next to a block of ice to cool off as she conducts a Covid-19 coronavirus test. PHOTO: AFP