A destructive tornado with winds reaching level 12 on the Beaufort scale occurred when the boat capsized, said the China Meteorological Center on Tuesday afternoon.[Special coverage]
The tornado lasted 15-20 minutes, hitting the section of Yangtze River where the accident happened with a diameter of less than 1 kilometer.
A meteorological observation station 35 kilometers from the accident site recorded the highest wind speed of 16.4 meters per second. The downpour between 9pm and 10pm on Monday, when the accident took place, produced 64.9mm of rain.