An extreme thunderstorm in east China left 11 people dead and 66 injured on the eve of the May Day holiday, while more than 3,000 were forced to evacuate, according to state media. The cities of Nantong, Huaian, Taizhou and Suqian in Jiangsu province were among the worst hit as high winds and hailstorms swept through the Yangtze River Delta region on Friday evening, Xinhua reported, citing the provincial emergency management department. Jiangsu party secretary Lou Qinjian ordered a search and rescue effort, the report said. It said a fishing boat with 11 crew members capsized in the storm. Two of the crew were rescued and the search for the others was ongoing. Wind speeds were recorded at up to 45.4 metres per second (102mph) at a monitoring site in Tongzhou Bay, and some areas reported hailstones with a diameter of up to 3cm (1.2 inches), Xinhua said. More than 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of crops and 6,000 houses were damaged in the storm, with 13,688 people in several cities affected. The cost of the damage from the storm was estimated at more than 16 million yuan (US$2.5 million). In Nantong, more than 1,200 firefighters were dispatched for rescue and evacuation work. A video clip published by Chutian Metropolis Daily , showed the high winds spinning an aircraft round in circles at Nantong airport. Power services were interrupted but later restored, the report said. China’s meteorological authorities said more extreme weather, including torrential rains, were forecast for the next few days.