Tornado leaves 5 dead and dozens injured in eastern China

CNN — Five people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a tornado ripped through a town in eastern China, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency.

Dramatic video posted on social media showed the tornado ripping roofs off houses and uprooting trees as debris was thrown in the air.

“Severe convective weather caused a tornado,” the Dongming County Emergency Management Bureau said, adding that the local government had established a command center and launched emergency response operations.

According to Xinhua, 2,820 homes were damaged by the tornado in Caiyuan, Shangdong province.

Emergency services are currently conducting “post-disaster disposal and on site clean-up” the Bureau added.

While tornadoes do not occur as frequently in China as they do in the US, they are not unknown. China averages fewer than 100 tornadoes per year, and at least 1,772 people died from tornadoes in the country in the 50 years since 1961, researchers say.

In April, a tornado struck the southern city of Guangzhou, killing at least five and injuring 33, according to Chinese state media.

Earlier this month, the China Meteorological Administration released its annual ‘Blue Book’ on the state of climate change in the country. The report found that the country experienced its warmest year since 1901 and that “extreme weather and climate events tend to be more frequent and severe.”

Other regions of the country are also grappling with extreme weather, as severe drought and record temperatures scorch the north while heavy rains inundate the south.