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Rescue effort ongoing after deadly tornado
China Daily
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Rescue effort ongoing after deadly tornado

The rescue operation was still underway on Thursday after a powerful tornado rampaged through Kaiyuan, Liaoning Province, on Wednesday afternoon, leaving six people dead and 190 injured.

Rescuers were seen clearing debris from residential buildings and restoring electric power systems as the rare tornado suddenly struck Kaiyuan, which is under the jurisdiction of Tieling city in the northern part of Liaoning province, around 5:15 pm in Jingouzi town.

The tornado, packing winds of up to 83 kilometers per hour, swept through an industrial park and churned south, lasting about 15 minutes.

More than 9,900 residents were affected. The city began rescue efforts immediately and launched a level two emergency response plan, the local emergency management authorities said.

By Thursday, 10 rescue teams of over 800 people, including police officers and firefighters, had saved more than 210 trapped residents and arranged for more than 1,000 people to take shelter in four temporary settlement sites.

The National Health Commission sent an emergency medical expert team to the devastated city early Thursday to help treat the injured.

An expert team of nine doctors from Beijing who specialize in critical care medicine, orthopedics, neurosurgery, maxillofacial surgery and psychology began treatment in local medical institutions shortly after they arrived.

As of Thursday afternoon, 63 injured residents were still being treated at six local hospitals.

The Tieling Emergency Management Bureau said 30 plants and facilities were damaged in Kaiyuan industrial park, with 4,365 households affected.

Sui Xianli, acting mayor of Tieling, said various rescue efforts are underway, and authorities were urged on Thursday to carry out reconstruction work soon to ensure transportation and water and power supplies remain in operation.

The State Grid Tieling Electric Power Supply Company had set up 12 emergency repair teams to recover the electricity supply in affected areas.

It was expected that all civilian electricity would return to normal on Thursday, and enterprise electricity will be restored within three days.

The disaster also damaged more than 4,300 houses and flats, with many windows shattered and outer walls wrecked. In addition, about 100 hectares of crops were destroyed.

Many buses were toppled during the tornado, and the storm caused road collapses and interrupted public transport.

The Tieling Meteorological Service issued a yellow alert - the second-lowest level in a four-tier warning system - for strong winds and rainfall at 4:42 pm on Wednesday.

Video footage from the industrial park in Kaiyuan city showed some houses reduced to piles of rubble, felled trees, and debris from buildings scattered across roads.

A shaken business owner of a company in Kaiyuan industrial park, recalling the terrifying incident, said he clutched his wife and son as they crouched under a table when the tornado came roaring in. His son was injured by a piece of metal that hit his legs.

China DailyGu Yetao

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