Severe storms and heavy hail hit southern China on Wednesday, at least eight people in Dongguan, Guangdong province are believed to have been killed and two others seriously injured by the violent weather.
There were also 134 cases reported of people with less serious injuries, the Guangdong daily newspaper Xinkuaibao reported, citing the Dongguan Municipal Health Bureau.
Many neighbourhoods in Dongguan were hit by thunderstorms packed with heavy rainfall, strong winds and hail, causing substantial damage to homes and vehicles. The storm caused the temporary collapse of buildings and regional power blackouts.
Maximum wind speeds were recorded at 49.1 metres a second, and the greatest precipitation of rain was recorded at 40.6mm in Dalingshan.
Witnesses likened the egg-sized hail to “stones falling from the sky” and said they “sounded like endless drumming.”
In the north, Beijing residents woke up to a freak spring snowfall which had blanketed the capital overnight.