China: Natural Disasters Cause 449 Deaths in First Half of the Year

Beijing, Jul 10 (Prensa Latina) In the first half of the year, natural disasters in mainland China caused 449 dead, 100 missing and direct economic losses valued at 21,800 million USD, according to official sources.

A report released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs on its website confirms that from January to June 2,960,000 people were evacuated and 274,000 buildings collapsed.

During that time the mainland was hit by frequent earthquakes, seven of which registered 5.0 degrees or more, while three storms hit the country last month.

Droughts, floods and snow damaged 25,500,000 hectares of crops, according to the document prepared in conjunction with the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Railways and Transportation, among others.

Sixty percent of the deaths and most missing were reported in the central provinces of Hubei and Hunan and in the southwestern provinces of Sichuan, Guizhou and Yunnan.

During this period, the central government had to pay 249 million USD in grants to people affected by disasters, as well as assigning them consumer goods.

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