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Tornado kills nine in China
Wenzhou (China) | August 19, 2007 2:05:23 PM IST
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Nine people were killed and 62 injured as a tornado hit east China's Zhejiang province, reports said Sunday.

A gale belt of 800-meter broad and eight-km-long swept through the Longgang township, Cangnan county of Wenzhou city at about 11.30 p.m. Saturday from the sea, the meteorological bureau said.

The victims, three men and six women, aged between 30 to 75, were killed in house collapses. The tornado toppled down 156 houses.

Eight of the injured were described as "in serious condition".

"The bizarre wind smashed all the windows of our four-storey building and tore down my mom's old house in no more than one minute, just like a hurricane," recalled 48-year-old villager Zhang Zhongling, who is under medical treatment together with his wife and mother in hospital.

Experts believe that the tornado was formed under the influence of typhoon Sepat that churned ashore in Chongwu town, Hui'an of Fujian province early Sunday.

Heading northwestward to the Jiangxi province, Sepat is forecasted to unleash downpour with the rainfall of up to 400 mm in Fujian in next three days.

More than 900,000 people in south China's Guangdong province and the eastern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang have been relocated to safer places before the typhoon's arrival.

By 6 a.m. Sunday, gale and torrential rain in Wenzhou had destroyed 198 houses, affecting 475,912 people and causing an economic loss of 138.35 million yuan ($18.2 million) in this manufacturing city.

--Xinhua

(IANS)

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