China horror: 12 people killed as back-to-back tornadoes leave trail of devastation

Wuhan: Tornado hits Chinese city and destroys buildings

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The twisters struck central Hubei province and east China’s Jiangsu province on Friday leaving a trail of destruction. Footage captured in Wuhan as the tornado struck shows debris swirling around in a vortex by the powerful winds. In total 12 people are understood to have been killed by the severe weather event and more than 300 have been left injured. Shocking images also show emergency services picking through the aftermath of collapsed buildings.

The majority of the deaths are believed to have occurred in Wuhan with eight fatalities reported.

Wuhan is the city infamous for being ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic.

Shengze, an area in Shazou, was struck first with the tornado hitting the town at close to 7pm local time. 

Footage of aftermath shows widespread damage with homes and factories torn apart by the force of the winds.

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Firefighters and other rescues can be seen searching with torches for people trapped under the rubble.

Wuhan was hit almost an hour later with winds of 53mph toppling homes and cutting power powerlines.

The subsequent blackouts left up to 26,600 households without electricity, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Officials in Wuhan said that 28 homes in the city had been totally destroyed, while another 130 had been left damaged.

 

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The economic impact of the tornadoes has been reported to be 37 million yuan or £4 million, according to the Chinese Hubei Daily newspaper.

Tornadoes are a rare occurrence in China but the country has experienced extreme weather events in the past 

A string of tornadoes devasted the country in 2016, killing close to 100 people.

Meanwhile, a further two tornado hit in 2019, one in the northeastern province of Liaoning in which six people died.

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And the second striking on the island of Hainan in the South China Sea killing eight people.

In late 2019, the first cases of the novel coronavirus were discovered in Wuhan with the virus later spreading around the world.

The hurricanes come as China has managed to almost eradicate the virus completely.

On Friday mainland China reported the first new cases of coronavirus for three weeks.

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