A thunderstorm and tornado left nine people dead and 272 injured in south China's Guangdong Province.

The storm hit Dongguan City yesterday, with winds gusting at 176km/h, dumping more than 40mm of rain and hailstones in some areas.

The tornado was the strongest in Dongguan since meteorological records began.

The government has sent teams to the affected areas for investigation and relief work.

Around 158 people were hospitalised with 11 were said to be in critical condition.