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9 killed, 47,000 evacuated as torrential rains batter NW China

(Xinhua)

15:40, September 17, 2011

XI'AN, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- Persistent rains have killed nine people and forced 47,200 to evacuate their homes in the northwestern province of Shaanxi during the past two weeks, local authorities said Saturday.

Torrential rains have been pounding nearly 60 of the province's counties since Sept. 4, triggering mountain torrents and landslides, the province's civil affairs department said in a statement.

Over 5,000 homes collapsed in the rain and more were damaged, according to the statement.

The rain also affected over 61,360 hectares of crops, among which 6,400 hectares were completely ruined, it said.

Direct economic loss caused by the rain was estimated at 724 million yuan (113 million U.S. dollars).

The department has started an emergency response plan and sent work teams to the disaster-hit regions to assist the relief operations.

More rains are expected to hit Shaanxi through Monday, according to a statement issued late Friday by the provincial flood control headquarters which asked local governments to guard against rain-triggered disasters.

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