A powerful tornado has killed at least 78 people on the outskirts of the eastern Chinese city Yancheng on Thursday (local time).
Nearly 500 people were injured, 200 of them critically, when the storm hit a heavily populated area of farms and factories in Jiangsu province city, north of Shanghai, state media reported.
Roads have been blocked with fallen trees, power lines and other debris, while heavy rain, hailstorms and the risk of more tornadoes was reported to be complicating rescue efforts.
The disaster has been declared a national emergency by the Chinese government and President Xi Jinping has ordered central government agencies to provide all necessary assistance.
Tornados occasionally strike southern China in the (northern) summer, but seldom with the scale of death and damage caused by this week's.
Southern and eastern China have experienced weeks of torrential rain and storms in 2016 that have led to widespread flooding and dozens of casualties.