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Destructive tornado outbreak hits Jiangsu, damaging or destroying 1 600 homes and killing 10, China

Destructive tornado outbreak hits Jiangsu, leaving 1 600 homes destroyed or damaged and at least 10 dead

On September 19, 2023, the northeastern coastal province of Jiangsu in China was struck by a significant severe weather outbreak, with multiple tornadoes causing damage to more than 1 600 homes and tragically claiming the lives of at least 10 residents.

Several destructive tornadoes, part of a larger severe weather outbreak, tore through NE China yesterday, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

Jiangsu Province experienced the most severe impact of the storm, with official reports confirming that over 1 600 homes were damaged or destroyed. The tragedy also claimed the lives of 10 individuals.

A particularly strong EF3 tornado made landfall in Funing County. The Jiangsu weather bureau confirmed that this is the strongest tornado recorded in the area since the 2016 Funing EF4. The aftermath was grievous: complete annihilation of homes, vast expanses of farmland wiped clean, and trees stripped of their bark.

One of the hardest hit areas was Banhu village which was hit by a powerful EF4 tornado 7 years ago.

Two EF2 tornadoes touched down in Suqian, resulting in deaths of five individuals. Elsewhere, in Huaian, residents were left reeling from a series of unfortunate events: vehicles thrown askew, vast forests laid to waste, and homes reduced to rubble. While the final classification of the tornado that caused this damage is yet to be confirmed, Eric Wang, a Chinese extreme weather enthusiast, postulates that it may range between EF2 and EF3 based on his observation of the destruction.

A broader understanding of the tornadoes’ complete impact, both in terms of human loss and infrastructural damage, will become clearer in the coming days.

Tornadoes are relatively rare in China compared to places like the United States, which has the highest occurrence of tornadoes in the world. However, certain provinces, including Jiangsu, have experienced tornadoes more frequently than other regions in China.

In recent years, there have been notable tornado events in Jiangsu. For example, in June 2016, a deadly tornado and hailstorm hit parts of Jiangsu Province, particularly in Yancheng city, resulting in significant fatalities and damage. This event was one of the deadliest tornadoes in China’s recent history.

Featured image credit: Eric Wang (stillshot)

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