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In photos: Devastation in China after rare tornado touches down

A rare and unexpected tornado blew across China's eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday afternoon, flattening entire villages and killing nearly 100 people.

by Ruby Samuels
Jun 24 2016, 7:40pm

Photo by Aly Song/Reuters

A rare and unexpected tornado blew across China's eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday afternoon, killing nearly 100 people. The gusts were recorded at speeds of nearly 80 miles per hour, whipping large hailstones through the air and flattening power lines, roads, hospitals, and entire villages.

On Thursday night after most of the damage was done, Jiangsu Governor Shi Taifeng reported to the China News Service that at least 98 people were killed during the storm, and another 800 were seriously injured. One villager told the outlet that her "house collapsed within seconds in a deafening noise and I was fortunate enough to be able to crawl out of the debris."

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The tornado comes in the middle of an unusually heavy monsoon season in China. As recently as this past week, at least 22 people were killed in floods from torrential rains in the country's south.

The search for survivors from the tornado was officially completed by the provincial fire corps late Thursday night, and a regional clean up is currently underway. These pictures show some of destruction that authorities and residents now face.

Paramilitary policemen and others sort through and work on buildings destroyed by the tornado in Funing county in east China's Jiangsu province, June 24, 2016. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

A picture taken by a drone shows an aerial view of the buildings leveled by a tornado in Funing county in east China's Jiangsu province. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

Paramilitary policemen during rescue efforts at the site of buildings that were destroyed by the tornado that killed nearly 100 people. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

A man retrieves wood from shelters destroyed in the tornado that struck on Thursday. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

A woman, who lost her nine-year-old grandson during the tornado, is comforted by another woman in Funing county. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

The women is comforted by people more community members as she grieves after her son's death in the wake of the tornado. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

Paramilitary police officers search collapsed homes. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

Villagers look for salvageable items from collapsed houses in a village in Funing county. (Photo by Xi Li/EPA)

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asia & pacific
Jiangsu Province
china news service
eastern china
funing county
sheyang county