Photos: Aerial photos show scenes of devastation after tornado rips through Jiangsu province

by
Shanghaiist

A new series of photos reveals the extent of the devastation caused by the tornado which swept through Jiangsu province earlier this week, killing at least 98 people and injuring 800.

At around 2:30 p.m. on June 23, the tornado struck the city of Yancheng, accompanied by lightning, torrential rain and hail. Winds of up to 125 km per hour were reported, which battered buildings and scattered vehicles from the road.

The search for survivors in debris has now been completed with a clean-up under way, the head of the provincial fire corps told state media.

President Xi Jinping had ordered "all-out rescue efforts" after what the Xinhua news agency said was one of the worst disasters ever to hit Jiangsu and the deadliest tornado to hit China in half a century.

Flooding is common during the summer monsoon season in the south of China, but rainfall has been especially heavy this year.

This disaster follows a week of torrential rains in southern China that have displaced nearly 200,000 people and caused almost 3 billion yuan ($450 million) in damages. Chinese officials have blamed the extreme weather on El Niño.