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Deadly storms ravage southern China, claiming seven lives

Deadly storms bearing typhoon-like winds have wreaked havoc in China’s southern Jiangxi province, resulting in at least seven fatalities since the weekend, with three individuals tragically blown from their high-rise residences while asleep. The unprecedented weather onslaught, which commenced on March 31, has battered nine cities, including Nanchang and Jiujiang, affecting a staggering 93,000 individuals across 54 counties, as reported by Jiangxi provincial emergency flood control headquarters cited by Reuters.

Deadly storms ravage southern China, claiming seven lives

Reports from local media reveal that on Sunday, violent storms unleashed gusts so forceful that they tore door-sized windows off their frames in a Nanchang high-rise, propelling three unsuspecting residents from their beds to a fatal fall. Official sources confirmed on Wednesday a death toll of seven, with 552 individuals having been urgently evacuated, and 2,751 homes sustaining damage.

Accompanied by spectacular sheet lightning, torrential rain, and hailstones as large as golf balls, the ferocious storms, labeled the most severe in over a decade, have inflicted economic losses estimated at 150 million yuan ($21 million), according to local authorities. China’s meteorological agency had forewarned of violent winds reaching speeds equivalent to a Category I hurricane on local wind scales.

While such intense winds are typical during typhoon landfalls, they are rarely witnessed inland, as seen in landlocked Jiangxi. The National Meteorological Center of China has upheld its highest severe convective weather warning – designated as orange – in numerous southeastern regions, as strong winds, hail, and thunderstorms persist through Wednesday.

State media reported that Tuesday’s issuance of the first orange alert for severe convective weather since 2013 underscored the gravity of the ongoing meteorological crisis. China’s meticulous approach to weather forecasting is exemplified by its three-tier, color-coded warning system for severe convective weather events. In this system, orange signifies the most severe level of threat, serving as a stark warning to communities to brace for the potential impact.

Following orange, yellow and blue alerts are sequentially deployed, representing escalating degrees of caution. This structured approach enables authorities to effectively communicate the imminent dangers posed by adverse weather conditions, empowering residents to take necessary precautions and mitigate risks to life and property.

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