First came the coronavirus, then the lockdowns – but if Wuhan residents thought their misery was over, they learned otherwise as a tornado slammed into the ravaged city.
Another tornado struck the town of Shengze, in the Suzhou area of tornado-prone Jiangsu province, killing four people and injuring 149, Xinhua said.
The ferocious winds left at least 12 people dead, hundreds injured and what the Xinhua news agency described as extreme property damage.
Eight people were reported dead in Wuhan, in Hubei province, with 280 injured after Friday’s tornado ripped through the district of Caidian at 8:39pm, the agency said on Saturday.
The Wuhan tornado toppled 27 houses and damaged 130 more, as well as two tower cranes and 8000 square metres of sheds at construction sites, it added.
Unprecedented extreme weather
“I’ve grown up in Wuhan and I’ve never seen anything like it,” one resident of the city posted on China’s Weibo app.
“There’s been so much extreme weather recently.”
Fire officials said the winds damaged electricity facilities and toppled several factory buildings. Tornadoes often hit Jiangsu in the late spring and early summer.
China’s commercial hub of Shanghai, 100 kilometres from Suzhou, was also hit by powerful thunderstorms, prompting weather officials to declare an alert.
More heavy storms were expected in Shanghai and other parts of the Yangtze river delta region later on Saturday, the state weather forecaster said.
China faces more extreme weather as a result of climate change, Jia Xiaolong, an official of the forecaster, told reporters late in April, adding that the risk of disasters such as heat waves and floods was expected to rise in coming years.