Tornado Kills 51 In China

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Beijing: A tornado in China has killed 51 people and destroyed huge numbers of buildings, according to officials.

The tornado formed near the city of Yancheng on Thursday, reports said. Large numbers of people were injured and roads were blocked.

Southern and eastern China have experienced weeks of torrential rain and storms that have caused widespread flooding and a number of casualties.

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China has frequently been devastated by natural disasters, particularly by floods and earthquakes. Flooding, an annual problem, has been exacerbated by urban sprawl and poor drainage infrastructure in many cities.

Chinese officials had warned of the potential for record floods this year due to a strong El Nino weather pattern, which warms sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific and has been linked to serious crop damage, forest fires and flash flood and drought around the world.