Freak weather has now claimed the lives of 24 people and injured hundreds more as it moved across southern China on Wednesday. At least nine died in Dongguan after a tornado struck.
We’ve felt the hot, humid weather turn to overcast skies, heavy rain and blustery winds in recent days. Conditions have been milder as a result, but depending on where you are in Guangdong, it gave way to torrential downpours, a deadly tornado and giant hailstones, knocking out power.
People were left trapped in collapsed buildings after the tornado swept through Dongguan.
However, 134 more people sustained minor injuries after the incident, the Dongguan Municiple Health Bureau said, according to a report by SCMP.
Experts reckon this wild weather is caused by the transition of seasonal monsoons. Here’s what the chairman of the Hong Kong Observatory said to SCMP:
The observatory said the severe weather was a result of the annual “summer and winter monsoon transition”. This often led to devastating thunderstorms, strong winds and some hail in China’s southern regions.
The observatory said the storms usually occurred between April and August. “It is rare to see hail in March,” the observatory chairman said.
Across southern China, storms affected neighbouring provinces including Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Guizhou and Fujian with the overall death toll hitting 27 with 272 injuries.
Here’s a rundown of the SCMP weather stats:
Maximum wind speeds were recorded at 49.1 metres a second (that’s 109.8mph/176.8k/ph, and the greatest precipitation of rain was recorded at 40.6mm in Dalingshan.
The Dongguan Municipal Meteorological Observatory issued an orange hail signal on Wednesday afternoon. Observatory chairman said that it was the first hail signal issued since the system was established in 2006.
If, however, you have plans to be out and about over the next few days, save it for next week. The observatory says the weather will be unstable, and that if a hailstone occurs, stay out of it and close any windows in future.