Tornado Kills 5, Injures 33 in Guangzhou, China

Deadly tornado strikes Guangzhou, China, killing 5 and injuring 33, as extreme weather events linked to climate crisis continue to batter the region.

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Israel Ojoko
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Tornado Kills 5, Injures 33 in Guangzhou, China

Tornado Kills 5, Injures 33 in Guangzhou, China

A tornado struck the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Saturday, killing 5 people and injuring 33 others. The tornado, which lasted about 4 minutes, damaged 141 factory buildings in the Baiyun district of the city. No residential houses collapsed, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Rescue teams from various departments were immediately dispatched to the affected area. Search and rescue operations have concluded, with the injured being sent to the hospital for treatment. Videos showed transmission towers and power lines igniting, and debris swirling in the air.

The tornado was assessed to be of level-three intensity on a scale of five, traveling approximately one kilometer. A weather station in Liangtian Village, Baiyun District registered a maximum wind gust of 20.6 meters per second around 3 p.m. local time.

Why this matters: The tornado in Guangzhou is the latest in a series of extreme weather events affecting China in recent times. Scientists warn that the climate crisis will exacerbate severe weather incidents like tornadoes and floods in the region.

Guangzhou, a manufacturing and technology hub with a population of 19 million, has been battered by heavy spring downpours this month, leading to flooding and the evacuation of tens of thousands of people. The Pearl River Delta, China's manufacturing heartland, has seen more intense rainfall and severe flooding in recent years.

Authorities had earlier issued warnings for thunderstorms, rainstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes in the area. Guangdong province has been battling record-breaking floods caused by heavy downpours, which have left at least 4 dead and displaced over 110,000 people. More rain, heavy downpours, hail, and tornadoes are forecast for the province over the next five days.

Tornadoes are not as common in China as they are in the United States, but the country averages fewer than 100 per year. At least 1,772 people have died from tornadoes in China in the past 50 years. The China Meteorological Agency has warned that heavy rain and strong storms are likely to continue until the end of the month.

Key Takeaways

  • Tornado struck Guangzhou, China, killing 5 and injuring 33, damaging 141 factory buildings.
  • Tornado assessed as level-3 intensity, with max wind gust of 20.6 m/s recorded.
  • Guangzhou has faced heavy spring downpours, flooding, and evacuation of tens of thousands.
  • Scientists warn climate crisis will exacerbate severe weather incidents like tornadoes and floods.
  • China averages fewer than 100 tornadoes per year, with 1,772 deaths in past 50 years.