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Tornadoes kill 12 in China; over 300 wounded

BEIJING (AP) – A back-to-back tornado has killed 12 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured, authorities said on Saturday.

Eight people died inside Wuhan City on Friday night and four others in Shenzhe City, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) east in Jiangsu Province, local authorities said.

The first tornado hit Shenzhe around 7 pm, damaging homes and factories and cutting off power, the official Xinhua news agency reported. Suzhou City Government, which controls the city, said in a social media post that four people had died and 1

49 others had minor injuries. Shengze is near Shanghai on the east coast of China.

Another tornado hit Wuhan around 8:40 p.m., with a wind of 86 kilometers per hour, destroying more than two dozen homes and causing a power outage affecting 26,600 households, Xinhua said. Wuhan officials told a news conference Saturday that eight had died and 230 had been injured.

They said 28 homes collapsed in Wuhan, another 130 were damaged and resulted in economic losses of 37 million yuan ($ 5.7 million), the Hubei Daily reported. Sheds on the construction site and two cranes were also damaged, and electricity was cut off when power lines were cut off, Xinhua said.

Photos showed a swarm of rescuers searching construction waste in Wuhan after midnight on Friday and workers clearing metal debris at a factory in Shendze in the morning.

Wuhan is the city where COVID-19 was first opened in late 2019.

Tornadoes are rare in China. In July 2019, a tornado killed six people in the northeastern province of Liaoning, and another tornado the following month killed eight on the southern resort island of Hainan.

In 2016, a tornado and accompanying hail killed 98 people in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

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