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Tornado kills 98 in China

YANCHENG, China (AFP) – Emergency personnel mounted rescue efforts amid scenes of carnage Friday as the toll from hurricane-force winds and a tornado in China rose to at least 98 dead, with hundreds more injured.

Whole villages were levelled and huge trees felled when winds of up to 125 kilometers per hour struck around Yancheng city, the official Xinhua news agency said.

So far 98 people have been confirmed dead and about 800 injured, it cited local authorities as saying.

President Xi Jinping ordered “all-out rescue efforts” after what Xinhua said was one of the worst disasters ever to hit Jiangsu, including the worst tornado to hit China in half a century.

In the town of Lixin, cars and houses were destroyed and trees uprooted. Bulldozers dug up rubble while rescue workers dug through debris for survivors.

Flooding is common during the summer monsoon season in the south of China, but rainfall has been particularly heavy this year.