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WEATHER REPORT
Bangladesh tornado kills 20, injures 100: officials
by Staff Writers
Dhaka (AFP) March 23, 2013


Twenty injured as tornado tears through Australian towns
Sydney (AFP) March 22, 2013 - More than 20 people were injured when a tornado tore through communities in Australia, with witnesses Friday saying it felt like a bomb going off.

The fierce storm hit several towns in Victoria state late Thursday.

"With an incident like this, there is always the potential to be faced with mass casualties. We were very grateful that we only had one person who was seriously injured," said Ambulance Victoria official Jon Byrne.

Most people suffered cuts and fractures after being hit by flying debris.

Reports said several houses were destroyed and many others damaged, while trees were ripped from the ground and power lines felled by winds estimated at up to 250 kilometres per hour.

"We were hanging on to the windows at home," Corowa Shire deputy mayor Daryl Davey told ABC radio.

"There was debris flying through the air... fences, BBQs, you name it. Everything was in the air at one stage."

"It's just like a bomb went off."

Max Steward, the post office manager at Barooga, said the tornado only lasted about five minutes.

"A couple of houses down the road... were literally blown apart by the force of the wind," he said.

"It just came out of nowhere just like a low-flying aeroplane -- it just roared though. Unbelievable it was."

A powerful tornado ripped through more than a dozen rural villages in eastern Bangladesh late Friday, killing at least 20 people and injuring more than 100, officials said.

The tornado wrecked havoc in Brahmanbaria district over a 15-minute period, authorities said, uprooting thousands of trees and flattened hundreds of tin and mud-built houses in the area, and snapping road and rail communication with affected villages.

"The death toll is now 20, including women and children. At least 100 people are injured," government district administrator Nur Mohammad told AFP. He said local authorities have launched relief and rescue operations in the region.

"It was so powerful that it overturned dozens of motor vehicles and big trucks," he added, saying those who died were mostly hit by fallen trees or collapsed walls.

District police chief M. Moniruzzaman said of the 100 people hospitalised, up to 12 people were in a critical condition.

"Many of the injured were rushed to hospitals in cities including the capital Dhaka," he told AFP.

Bangladesh is hit by powerful storms and tornadoes from March to mid-May just ahead of the four-month-long wet monsoon season, often killing scores and in some years hundreds of people in rural villages.

South China prepares for more storms after 24 die
Beijing (AFP) March 22, 2013 - Southern China was warned Friday to prepare for more heavy rain and hailstorms after 24 people died when severe weather lashed five provinces, including a "super-tornado" in one city and egg-sized hailstones.

The extreme weather will continue until Sunday, the China Meteorological Centre said, after parts of the country were battered by huge hailstorms and heavy rain which caused widespread devastation and a ferry to capsize.

"All parts of southern China should take measures to be on guard against the negative influence of thunder and lightning, high wind and hail," the meteorological centre said.

The storms began on Tuesday, but climaxed the following day when a ferry overturned in a river in the city of Nanping, in the south-eastern province of Fujian, killing 11 people.

Chinese newspapers Friday showed images of overturned cars and flattened buildings from Dongguan, in Guangdong province in the south, the scene of nine deaths during the storm.

The city was hit by a "super tornado" on Wednesday afternoon, making it difficult for emergency response teams to react, the China Daily said, citing a local official.

Force eight winds swept through the area, the newspaper added.

Online news reports showed images of egg-sized hailstones and car windows smashed by the force of the storm. Other reports said the strong winds had caused a refrigerator to be blown from a store, narrowly missing a passing motorist.

Most of the deaths in Dongguan were caused by residential buildings collapsing.

Across the storm region a total of 2,000 structures collapsed and 248,000 were damaged, media reported.

Local authorities in Nanping said they were continuing to investigate the number of missing from the ferry accident. The official Xinhua news agency said four people had not been found.

Other provinces affected by storms and torrential rain were nearby Jiangxi, Hunan in central China and Guizhou in the southwest.

About 215,000 people were evacuated from their homes and the economic loss is estimated at 1.31 billion yuan ($210 million), the China Daily cited the ministry of civil affairs as saying.

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WEATHER REPORT
24 dead as tornado, hailstorms lash south China
Beijing (AFP) March 21, 2013
At least 24 people died and scores were injured after a tornado carrying huge hailstones lashed southern China, causing widespread devastation and a ferry to capsize, domestic media reported Thursday. The ferry overturned in a river in the south-eastern province of Fujian, causing the deaths of 11 people with four missing, web portal qq.com reported. Nine people were killed in Dongguan, ... read more


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