China sends disaster-relief teams to snow storm hit regions

08:37, January 14, 2010      

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Chinese authorities started to quickly deploy disaster relief teams to regions hit hard by snow storms, the civil affairs ministry said late Wednesday.

The ministry and the National Disaster Reduction Commission decided to immediately begin the level-IV national disaster emergency response to assist local relief work, as heavy snows and cold snap continue to grip the northern regions.

Across 12 regions including Beijing, Inner Magnolia and northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, 4.67 million people have been affected, six died, and 13,000 were relocated, shows the latest statistics.

The storms brought down 4,000 homes and damaged another 27,000,causing economic losses estimated at 1.4 billion yuan (205 million U.S. dollars).

The commission said local authorities in charge of relief work should closely monitor and report disaster situations, while dispatching aid to people affected, especially vulnerable groups, in a timely manner.

So far, the civil affairs ministry has sent 7,000 tents, 40,000cotton-padded quilts and coats to the storm-hit regions.

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