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38 dead as tornado, storms hit China

world Updated: May 06, 2010 19:26 IST

PTI
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At least 38 people were killed and more than 190 injured when a tornado coupled with hail storm and heavy rains hit southwestern China on Thursday, damaging thousands of homes and destroying crops.

The tornado, followed by torrential rains, hail storms and high winds, killed 38 people and left 190 people injured, official Xinhua news agency reported.

The death and injury tolls from the storms rose throughout today. Liangping and Dianjiang counties and Fuling district were among the hardest-hit.

Six people were killed and 34 others injured in Liangping county. Seventeen people died and 127 people were injured in Dianjiang county, according to rough statistics.

In Dianjiang, 980 residential buildings had collapsed more than 10,000 more were damaged. The damage was estimated at more than 120 million yuan ($17.6 million), said a spokesman for the county government.

The municipal government has started relief work. Local officials said tornados never happened in the past and this was the first time.

Hanjia township in Pengshui county, received 157 mm of rain in the 24 hours.

The Chongqing municipal civil affairs bureau has sent 300 tents, 1,000 quilts and emergency lights to the affected regions.

In the eastern province of Jiangxi, torrential rains forced more than 3,500 people to evacuate their homes, said a spokesman for the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.