Gales, hailstorms affect 230,000 people in eastern Chinese province

08:29, May 20, 2011      

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More than 230,000 people were affected by gales and hailstorms which struck some areas in east China's Shandong Province Tuesday, local authorities said Thursday.

The violent weather damaged 14,160 hectares of crops and 37 houses in five cities and counties in Shandong, said a spokesman with the provincial civil affairs department.

Further, the disaster caused direct economic losses of about 42.7 million yuan (about 6.6 million U.S. dollars), mainly in agriculture, said the spokesman.

In the worst-hit Linqing City, where 150,000 people were affected by the disaster, the maximum wind speed reached about 100 km per hour.

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