6 killed, 190 injured as 'rare' tornado hits N-E China

Houses in Kaiyuan damaged by a tornado that swept across China's Liaoning province on Wednesday. China's weather bureau on Tuesday said climate change could cause more extreme weather events, following floods, drought and extreme high temperatures in
Houses in Kaiyuan damaged by a tornado that swept across China's Liaoning province on Wednesday. China's weather bureau on Tuesday said climate change could cause more extreme weather events, following floods, drought and extreme high temperatures in some regions this year. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

SHANGHAI • A tornado has swept through the north-eastern Chinese province of Liaoning, killing six people and injuring 190, the state broadcaster said, amid a series of "extreme" weather events that government forecasters have linked to climate change.

Wednesday's tornado damaged nearly 3,600 homes and affected more than 9,900 residents in Kaiyuan, a city of around half a million people, according to China Central Television (CCTV). Footage posted on CCTV's official Weibo account shows dozens of flattened buildings in an economic development zone in Kaiyuan.

The Global Times newspaper said that tornadoes were rarely seen in the area.

China's weather bureau on Tuesday said climate change could cause more extreme weather events, following floods, drought and extreme high temperatures in some regions this year.

It said rainfall had broken records in some areas and that as many as 40 weather stations had this year registered their hottest temperatures ever.

Meanwhile, the northern province of Hebei yesterday issued an extreme heat "red alert", with temperatures set to soar beyond 40 deg C in its major cities and putting the area's corn crop at risk.

The local government said on its official website that the cities of Baoding, Shijiazhuang, Hengshui, Cangzhou, Xingtai and Handan were all expected to see temperatures above 40 deg C yesterday.

The local weather bureau also warned that the extreme heat and drought in the province were likely to affect its corn crop.

Hebei, which surrounds the capital Beijing, is among China's biggest producers of the grain.

Rainfall in the province has declined 23.9 per cent compared to the average in the second quarter of 2019, the Hebei Daily reported.

Cities in Hebei have been deploying sprinklers mounted on trucks to try to keep temperatures down, putting further pressure on water supplies.

A heatwave that has swept across northern China, including Beijing, is expected to last until next week, the Hebei Daily said, citing the local weather bureau.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2019, with the headline '6 killed, 190 injured as 'rare' tornado hits N-E China'. Print Edition | Subscribe