At least eight people were killed and more than 100 others were injured in rainstorms that hit parts of central China's Hubei Province starting from last Saturday, sources from the provincial civil affairs department said.
The victims were killed either by lightning strike, flood water or collapsed houses.
A total of 18 counties in eight cities including Wuhan, the provincial capital, were affected by the rainstorm and tornado, and the direct economic losses totaled 200 million yuan (about US$24.1 million).
Yicheng City and Dongbao District of Jinmen City were hit by a tornado at 7 PM last Saturday. Macheng and Tongcheng counties had the serious rainfall which was monitored at 140 mm.
The rainstorm has raised the water level of the Yangtze River, China's longest, which runs through most parts of Hubei. The water level at the Wuhan section of the Yangtze River rose by 0.1 meters to reach 22.72 meters on Monday. But, it is far below the warning line.
However, an official with the flood control office of Wuhan City called for active efforts be made to ward off a potential serious flood on the river.
(Xinhua News Agency June 29, 2005)