Natural disasters leave 75 dead, 11 missing in China in first quarter

09:35, April 09, 2011      

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Natural disasters in China have left 75 people dead and 11 missing while causing 48.05 billion yuan (7.35 billion U.S. dollars) in direct economic losses in the first quarter of this year, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Friday.

Disasters, including droughts, freezing temperatures and sleet, earthquakes, floods, strong winds, hail, landslides, and forest fires, prompted the evacuation of 819,000 people and affected the lives of about 170 million people, the ministry said in a report.

Natural disasters affected 11.38 million hectares of farmland in the first quarter, destroying about 281,800 hectares of crops, it said.

The damage caused by natural disasters during the period was roughly the same as in previous years, the report said.

Droughts, freezing temperatures and sleet, as well as earthquakes were the major disasters, according to the ministry.

The lives of more than 6,500 people in southwest China's Yunnan Province were affected by a magnitude-7.2 earthquake that jolted Myanmar on March 24, the ministry's figures show.

A magnitude-5.8 earthquake hit Yunnan's Yingjiang County, which also borders Myanmar, on March 10, leaving 26 people dead and 313 others injured while flattening tens of thousands of homes.

From January to March, eight provincial-level areas suffered from droughts and ten areas were ravaged by freezing temperatures and sleet, the ministry said.

To enhance the capability of fighting natural disasters, China's State Disaster Relief Commission ordered relevant departments on Friday to mobilize the public to stage an emergency drill on May 12 this year, the country's third "Disaster Prevention and Reduction Day."

During the drill, participants are expected to practice evacuation and medical aid techniques, according to the commission.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
 
 
     
 
 
 
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(Editor:张心意)

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