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78 killed, 500 injured as tornado pummel eastern China

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BEIJING — A powerful tornado along with hurricane-force winds, hailstorms, pounding rain have killed at least 78 people in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu and injured nearly 500 others, Xinhua reported.

The tornado hit near the city of Yancheng, according to state broadcaster CCTV and other official media. They said large numbers of people were injured and roads were blocked.

Whole villages were leveled and huge trees felled when winds of up to 125 kilometers per hour struck around Yancheng city.

CCTV showed people carrying the injured to hospitals, cars and trucks flipped over on their roofs, street light poles snapped in half, and steel electricity pylons crumpled and lying on their side.

Some 200 people were left critically injured during the storms and the worst tornado in half a century, which reduced buildings to rubble.

Photos of the scene showed dazed residents near the remains of houses surrounded by tangled telephone wires, splintered wood and toppled poles.

“It was like the end of the world,” said Xie Litian, 62, from Donggou township in Funing County, describing how all the other houses in his neighbourhood had been destroyed.

“I heard the gales and ran upstairs to shut the windows,” he said.

“I had hardly reached the top of the stairs when I heard a boom and saw the entire wall with the windows on it torn away.”

President Xi Jinping ordered “all-out rescue efforts” after what Xinhua said was one of the worst disasters ever to hit Jiangsu.

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Khalanga suspension bridge to remain closed for 48 hrs

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DARCHULA—The suspension bridge over Mahakali river linking Nepal and India will remain closed for 48 hours from 5:00 pm today due to elections in Pithoragarh, India.

According to Darchula District Administration Office, the district officer of Pithoragarh informed about the closure of the bridge located in Khalanga along the borders for 48 hours due to elections of the Dharchula Municipality Council in India.

The local level elections in Pithoragarh district of India is taking place on November 18.

Likewise, Chief District Officer of Darchula Khumkant Acharya said that agreement has been made to close the bridge for 48 hours citing security challenges.

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