Both Wuhan and Suzhou were hit by separate tornadoes that wreaked havoc across the central and eastern parts of the country.

Emergency vehicles are pictured after a tornado hit an economic zone in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on May 15, 2021.
Emergency vehicles are pictured after a tornado hit an economic zone in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on May 15, 2021. (AFP)

Two tornadoes that struck central and eastern China have killed at least 12 people and injured more than 400, authorities said.

Violent winds of more than 260 kilometres per hour blasted the central city of Wuhan on Friday night.

Eight people died and more than 280 were injured there, authorities said, adding that around 30 homes had collapsed.

Vehicles were crushed by falling objects, trees uprooted, buildings partially destroyed and electricity pylons felled, leaving more than 26,000 homes without power.

The gale damaged two construction cranes, one of which toppled onto the site below, causing significant damage. 

In Suzhou, near Shanghai, another tornado with winds of more than 200 kilometres per hour wreaked havoc.

Four people were killed and one remains missing, according to local authorities.

Images shared on social media showed a black whirlwind which left a trail of destruction.

In May, a windstorm caused the deaths of 11 people in a different town also close to Shanghai.

Source: AFP