Rescuers and medical personnel were busy on Friday in China after the passage of a tornado a day before and torrential rain have left scenes of desolation and made at least 98 dead and hundreds injured.
Whole villages were destroyed and trees uprooted when winds of 125 km / h hit Yancheng City and its environs on Thursday afternoon, in the coastal Jiangsu Province (east), told Xinhua.
The death toll reported 98 dead and 800 wounded, announced the provincial authorities on their official website.
Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered to do everything possible in relief operations after what Xinhua described as the worst tornado that hit the country in half a century.
In the district of Funing, one of the most affected areas, people were walking among the ruins of their collapsed houses, many of them ripped the roof and crumbling walls.
Sun Yazhou, a resident of the district, was driving a concrete mixer truck when a tornado ripped the vehicle windows. “The sky was completely black. I was scared, but nowhere to run to. I could not wait, “he told AFP.
Zhou Xiang, the provincial fire chief, said the search for survivors in the rubble was over, according to New China, and that cleaning and clearance operations are now underway.
More than 1,300 police officers were mobilized to participate in operations, the agency said.
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– ‘I do not have anything’ –
The halls of Funing County Hospital were all crowded, and additional beds filled the halls of the institution.
A worker injured in the head and arms and put under perfusion told AFP he was carried away by the wind of the tornado out of his workplace, despite having clinging to a door.
“Everything happened so fast. I had never seen anything like it in my life, “he testified. “I was convinced that I would die. I do not believe that I am still alive. ”
The plant Canadian Solar where he worked – which employed about 1,000 workers – and the company’s dormitory were destroyed.
“I do not have anything. My money, my business, everything was taken away. It was so scary, “he told AFP.
Workers and soldiers withdrew pylons of high voltage power lines around the plant, where the roofs and windows of buildings were blown by the storm.
According to the Chinese press, more than 360 rescuers were deployed on the factory site, where two employees are missing.
Sitting on a stretcher in a corridor of the hospital, Chen Shaoxi nursing a broken leg and a bruised head, incurred injuries when he rescued a pair of elderly neighbors during the storm.
“If my father had not been there, they would be dead by now,” says his son Wang Minming AFP.
Floods are frequent in summer in southern China, but particularly violent rains have battered many areas this week, causing extensive damage.