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25,000 affected by persistent snowfall in SW China


09:50, March 23, 2012

CHENGDU, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Persistent snowfalls have battered a county in southwest China's Sichuan province since late January, killing more than 90,000 livestock and affecting about 25,000 people, local authorities said Thursday.

Shiqu county, located in the Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture, is blanketed under 15 cm of snow due to continuous snowfalls that have gone on for 41 days, according to the county's disaster prevention and relief bureau.

More than 25,000 people from 10 townships have faced food shortages, as well as a lack of warm clothing. A total of 668 people have suffered injuries due to exposure.

Electricity and water supplies, traffic and communication facilities have also been interrupted or damaged by the snow, the bureau said.

The local government has dispatched more than 400 civilians to help with relief work. A relief fund of more than 300,000 yuan (47,590 U.S. dollars) has been created through donations by local officials.

The county government has sent 720,000 kg of grain, 100 tonnes of coal, 100 tents and 1,000 quilts to the affected residents.


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