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Gale causes 17 fires in Xinjiang, killing one

(Xinhua)

08:06, April 24, 2012

URUMQI - Strong winds have swept across Northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region over the last 30 hours, causing 17 fires and killing one person as of noon Monday, local firefighters said.

Winds of 80 km per hour have hit the Turpan Basin in central Xinjiang since Sunday, blowing roofs away and bringing temperatures down. The maximum wind speed reached 117 km per hour at one point, said the officials from Turpan Prefecture.

More than 200 people have been dispatched to put out the 17 fires, which damaged 165 houses and killed one person between Sunday and Monday, officials said.

Local residents who have been affected by the winds have been properly assisted, although the amount of damage has yet to be evaluated, officials said.

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