Rescue underway as deadly China tornado affects 9,900

2019-07-05 02:27:25 GMT2019-07-05 10:27:25(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SHENYANG, July 4 (Xinhua) -- A rescue operation was still underway Thursday after a strong tornado hit a city in northeast China's Liaoning Province Wednesday, leaving six people dead, 190 injured and 9,900 affected.

The tornado, packing winds up to 23 meters per second and lasting 15 minutes, struck the city of Kaiyuan around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, the publicity department of the city government said.

Over 800 rescuers, including police officers, firefighters, and medical and electric utility workers, are involved in the operation, local authorities said.

The rescuers, working in 10 teams, are racing against time to search for trapped people, treat the injured, settle down the affected and restore electricity supply and road traffic.

An industrial park in the city's west and its neighboring residential quarters were the worst-hit.

On Thursday morning, rescuers were seen clearing debris and searching for potentially trapped workers in the industrial park where more than a dozen factory buildings were damaged.

The disaster also damaged over 4,300 houses and flats, with many windows shattered and outer walls wrecked, and around 100 hectares of crops destroyed.

About 210 people have been rescued from damaged buildings and over 1,600 been evacuated to safety. Sixty-three people have been admitted to six local hospitals, the local government said.

Local authorities have set up four temporary settlement sites for displaced residents. 

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