Saturday, May 25, 2024

Five dead, 33 injured after Tornado hits China’s Guangzhou; 141 factory buildings damaged – World News

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Five individuals have died and 33 others sustained injuries in a tornado that swept through Guangzhou, located in southern China. This city, with a population of 19 million, has experienced tornadoes reaching a level-three intensity, just two levels below the maximum of five,  reported CNN, citing Chinese state media. 

According to authorities, 141 factory buildings suffered damage, but no residential houses collapsed, as reported by the Xinhua news agency. A weather station in Liangtian Village, Baiyun District, approximately 1.7 miles from the tornado’s impact, recorded a peak wind gust of 20.6 metres per second, cited by CNN from Xinhua.

Search and rescue operations end 

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As of 10 pm local time, search and rescue operations had concluded. Following the tornado, several days of heavy rainfall pounded southern China, triggering deadly floods and endangering the livelihoods of tens of millions. Rescue teams raced to evacuate residents stranded by rising waters.

Guangdong province, an economic hub housing 127 million people, faced extensive flooding, prompting the relocation of over 110,000 individuals, according to state media citing local authorities.

Earlier this week, state media reported that floods claimed the lives of at least four people in Guangdong.

Pearl river delta hit by torrential rains

Since April 16, relentless torrential rains have battered the Pearl River Delta, China’s manufacturing heartland and one of its most densely populated areas. Four weather stations in Guangdong recorded unprecedented rainfall for April, CNN reported.

The Pearl River basin typically experiences annual flooding from April to September, but recent years have seen intensified rainstorms and severe floods. Scientists warn that the climate crisis will exacerbate extreme weather events, heightening their lethality and frequency.

Meteorological warnings persist

While tornadoes are less common in China compared to the US, they do occur. A peer-reviewed scientific study from 2015 revealed that China averages fewer than 100 tornadoes annually, with at least 1,772 fatalities attributed to tornadoes in the country over the past 50 years since 1961.

Furthermore, the China Meteorological Administration has issued warnings of continued heavy rain and strong storms until the month’s end, as reported by CNN.

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