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4 dead, 10 injured after severe thunderstorms in E China's Jiangxi


 , Updated 16:06, 02-Apr-2024

Four people were killed and more than 10 others were injured after severe convective weather, including strong winds and heavy rainfall, hit Nanchang, the capital of east China's Jiangxi Province, early Sunday morning, according to local authorities.

Video footage circulating online showed windows shattered at a resident's home, with glass shards scattered all over the ground.

According to local media outlets, during the extreme weather event, three individuals fell to their deaths from a tall building in a residential area on Bayuehu Road in Nanchang County.

The disaster reduction division of the Jiangxi Meteorological Service confirmed that a severe rainstorm swept the city early Sunday morning. However, the cause of the fatal incidents has yet to be determined, and an investigation by the local public security department is still underway, China Daily reported.

The strongest wind was recorded in a meteorological station at Nanchang County at 4 a.m. on Sunday, with a maximum speed of 35.5 meters per second (127.8 kilometers per hour), said Meng Minghua, the chief forecaster at the city's meteorological center, according to the Beijing News.

Meng also explained the reasons why a thunderstorm can cause such severe damage to high-rise buildings.

It is a downburst wind, a strong downward and outward-gushing wind system that emanates from a point source above and blows radially, said Meng, who added that the sudden wind caused by strong convection can change the pressure rapidly, and windows are likely to burst because of abrupt changes in pressure difference.

Meng said the wind speed may get higher as it passes through the buildings due to the Venturi effect, or channeling effect, which happens when buildings are located close to one another. The effect is perpetuated by a reduction in wind pressure, resulting in wind acceleration through the tight channel created between the buildings.

The National Meteorological Center renewed a blue alert for torrential rain and a yellow alert for severe convective weather on Tuesday morning. China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system for strong winds, with red representing the most severe warning, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

(Cover: A view of a street in Nanchang City, east China's Jiangxi Province, April 1, 2024. /CMG)

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