BEIJING — Chinese authorities say at least 17 people have been killed and scores injured after violent thunderstorms lashed parts of the country's southern industrial heartland of Guangdong province.

Emergency service officials say hail, rain and gale-force winds struck the province's capital, Guangzhou, along with the nearby cities of Foshan, Dongguan and Zhaoqing.

Victims were struck by falling objects and collapsing walls and work sheds, with the official Xinhua News Agency saying 118 people were reported injured.

The region is home to much of China's crucial export manufacturing sector, although there was no immediate indication of serious damage to assembly lines. (AP)