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China weather: Tornado and hail kill scores in Jiangsu
A tornado and hailstorm have killed at least 78 people and injure nearly 500 in the east Chinese province of Jiangsu, according to state media.
Accompanied by torrential rain, the tornado struck the outskirts of the city of Yancheng on Thursday afternoon.
Nearly 500 people were injured, 200 of them critically, and a number of homes were flattened.
Floods in parts of southern China killed 22 people earlier this week.
Video from the scene of the tornado shows injured children being transported on the backs of mopeds, overturned vehicles, snapped trees and street light poles, and toppled electricity pylons.
“It was like the end of the world,” local resident Xie Litian told state news agency Xinhua.
“I heard the gales and ran upstairs to shut the windows. I had hardly reached the top of the stairs when I heard a boom and saw the entire wall with the windows on it torn away.”
President Xi Jinping ordered “all-out rescue efforts” to help those affected by the storms.
Many parts of China have been hit by torrential rains this week.
The floods in southern China displaced nearly 200,000 people, state media said.
Direct economic losses from the floods are estimated to be 2.7bn yuan ($410m).
Vice-Premier Wang Yang said China faced volatile weather conditions as a result of the influence of El Nino on weather patterns.