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One killed, 36 injured after tornado hits NE China
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One person was killed and 36 others injured after a tornado and a hailstorm slashed Wuchang City in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province on Friday.

The injured were receiving treatment at the Wuchang People's Hospital. Among them, 16 people were seriously hurt and two people were still in critical conditions, said a local government spokesman on Saturday.

A tornado, measuring 2 on the Fujita scale, and a hailstorm hit seven towns at about 7:10 PM Friday, destroying croplands, damaging 443 houses and cutting off power supplies and telecommunications with the outside.

In the worst-hit Xingsheng Town, 19 houses were leveled to the ground, affecting 628 people of 165 rural households.

According to the government's initial statistics, the disaster has caused a direct economic loss of 31.1 million yuan (US$4.4 million).

Nearly 100 government officials went to the stricken areas for relief efforts.

(Xinhua News Agency May 25, 2008)

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