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Tornado kills 15 in Anhui

A TORNADO sliced through a county in eastern Anhui Province on Saturday, killing 15 people, including two middle school students, and injuring 46 others.

Strange weather was also reported in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province and Guangdong Province. The two students died when the roof of their classroom collapsed. They were attending a summer course when the tornado hit.

Seven migrant workers were killed at a nearby sausage casing company when the factory they were working in was knocked over.

The tornado was packing winds blowing faster than 120kph when it struck Lingbi County around noon on Saturday, overturning vehicles and uprooting trees.

"It was raining at the time. All of a sudden, the sky turned dark," a power substation worker surnamed Xue told a local newspaper. "Then I heard very loud cracking sounds."

"Four or five minutes later, it became quite. I stepped outside and saw two house beside the substation had collapsed and there were debris everywhere."

The twister caused the county direct economic losses totaling 42.1 million yuan (US$5.2 million), Xinhua news agency reported.

At about the same time in Nanjing, the provincial capital of Jiangsu, some residents experienced "very unusual weather," the Jinling Evening Newspaper said.

"In one hour, they went from summer to winter," the newspaper reported. Residents of the Fengguangli complex said they saw snowflakes whirling down from a low, dark cloud. The snow lasted for five minutes.

Rainstorms were reported in many parts of the city. A crane was knocked over by a strong gust, landing on top of a nearby residential building. No one was hurt but the roofs of several homes were damaged. The crane was later moved away.

On the same day, at about 10am, a tornado was also reported in southern Guangdong Province. It lashed through six villages, injuring two and destroying more than 20 farm houses.

At a primary school in one village, a 200-meter-long wall was brought down and the balcony in one school building was blown away. No students were hurt.

"I never saw wind like that," an 89-year-old villager told a newspaper there. "After the wind passed, the trees in the orchids were reduced to trunks only. They looked as if they were cut in half."


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