Subscribe to our newsletter

     By signing up, you agree to our Terms Of Use.


    • About Us
    • |
    • Contribute
    • |
    • Contact Us
    • |
    • Sitemap

    Nanchang: Four Killed, 10 Injured as Freak Storm Ravages City

    The storm’s winds were powerful enough to blow residents out of their apartment windows. Local police are investigating whether the quality of housing played a role in the tragedy.
    Apr 02, 2024#disasters

    At least four people were killed and 10 injured late Sunday after a freak storm, marked by intense rainfall and gale-force winds, swept through Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province in eastern China.

    Domestic media reports indicate that the storm was so powerful that it blew out windows in residential buildings, leading to the deaths of three individuals, including an 11-year-old boy and two women over 60. All three were swept out of their apartments along with their windows and mattresses.

    Meteorological data show that Nanchang recorded its second-highest wind speeds ever during the storm, with gusts surpassing force 12. Peak wind speeds reached 35.3 meters per second or 127 kilometers per hour — comparable to a typhoon making landfall — leaving a trail of destruction across the city.

    The storm’s intensity and the fatalities it caused sparked widespread debate over the quality of housing and the safety of floor-to-ceiling windows, a popular feature among high-rise residents. In response, local police have launched an investigation to determine if housing quality contributed to the tragedy.

    The son of a 64-year-old woman, living on the 20th floor of a residential community in Nanchang, told local media that he was awakened by a loud noise in the middle of the night. Upon checking, he discovered that his mother and 11-year-old son, who were sleeping in the room, were missing. The strong winds had blown them, along with the window, mattress, and bed, out of the building.

    On social media, videos documented the storm’s ferocity, showing broken windows and over 1,600 trees uprooted, with parked cars buried under the debris. Despite the Nanchang County Emergency Bureau issuing advanced warnings — a yellow alert at 11 p.m. Saturday, escalated to an orange alert by 3 a.m. Sunday — many residents were caught unprepared, asleep when the storm hit.

    Meteorologists attributed the intensity of the winds to a phenomenon known as “downburst,” which generates powerful downward airflow within thunderstorm clouds. The narrow spaces between high-rise buildings further exacerbated the situation, creating a “chimney effect” that intensified the wind speeds and amplified the destruction.

    On Tuesday morning, the China Meteorological Administration issued a yellow warning, forecasting that thunderstorms, reaching levels eight to 10, might hit parts of Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces along with the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, within the next 24 hours, potentially bringing strong winds or hail, with local wind forces expected to exceed level 11.

    Editor: Apurva.

    (Header image: The community where extreme winds swept three people from their apartment in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, April 1, 2024. From Weibo)