China tornado kills 51 people, casualties expected to rise

China tornado kills 51 people, casualties expected to rise

Jiangsu, China, 6/23/16 – State media reports that a disastrous tornado kills 51 people in the affected province.  People were advised to stay at home as the tornado grew stronger and is expected to mar the area for six hours.

Despite the warnings from the Yancheng weather bureau, the death toll is expected to rise significantly as floods rise to critical levels.

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Families and children were reportedly caught in the middle of the storm, trapped in their homes. The tornado ripped through concrete structures, damaged homes and street poles were bent in its wake.  People huddled inside buildings expecting to be protected by concrete walls, but the storm just ripped through it and killed or left people injured.

Citizens were terrified and felt helpless as the winds reached a maximum speed of 34.6 meters per second. State media further reports that the storm is accompanied by hail. The rain kept pouring ceaselessly and grew heavier, so much that in just about an hour it had caused floods to rise quickly and reach 102 millimeters.

It didn’t seem to matter where people went or hid, nature found a way to reach them from inside the shelters or out.  CCTVs in the area have shown youngsters bloodied and scared knowing they had nowhere to go.  No place in the eastern province of Jiangsu was assured of safety.  Even schools were damaged with trees lying on top roofs, and wrecked its walls.

The streets are littered with fallen trees and posts, which needs to be cleared for food and medical assistance to reach the victims.

This comes as China has been dealing with torrential rains in the southern part of the country. The heavy rains have already caused at least 22 people dead and 20 more missing as of this time. The rains are expected to go on for another 3 days.

CBC News reports that 200,000 people have been forced to evacuate from eight southern provinces and regions, including Hubei, Sichuan, Guizhou, Jiangxi, Yunnan, Zhejiang and Anhui.

Yancheng weather bureau expects more rains and harsh weather in lieu of the El Nino.


Photo courtesy: Wikimedia commons