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715 people killed in natural disasters so far this year
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20:11, July 19, 2007

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China''s death toll from natural disasters is 715 so far this year, and 129 people are missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs reported on Thursday.

The figures compiled to July 16 also showed 200 million people were affected by natural disasters, including floods, landslides, droughts, gales, snowstorms and earthquakes, while 4.45 million people were forced to leave their homes.

More than 533,000 houses collapsed and nearly 26.18 million hectares of farmland were affected.

Total direct losses amounted to 73.58 billion yuan (9.68 billion U.S. dollars), according to the ministry.

The central government allocated 40 million yuan on Thursday to disaster relief work in flood-hit southwest Chongqing Municipality, the ministry said.

The government has set aside 805 million yuan so far to help with the worst flood-hit areas.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health has sent four teams to flood-stricken areas including Jiangsu and Anhui to help medical services. The teams mainly comprise physicians, surgeons, paediatrists, as well as experts on epidemic prevention and disinfections.

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