Eighteen others remained missing after the freak storm in Min county, a disaster-prone area of Gansu province, while 87 others were taken to the hospital, the county government said.
Officials said 29,300 people had been evacuated after rain and large hail pounded the county for about 60 minutes late Thursday afternoon.
It “wreaked havoc” on the county’s 18 townships and affected more than two-thirds of its 450,000 residents, the state-controlled Xinhua news agency reported.
“Roads were blocked, houses collapsed, farmland was destroyed, and the power supply and telecommunications services were disrupted by the extreme weather,” the agency said.
Min county is 94 miles from Zhouqu county, where a rain-triggered mudslide killed about 1,500 people in August 2010.
- 40 die in brief but violent Chinese hailstorm (news.yahoo.com)
- 40 killed in Chinese hailstorm (abc.net.au)