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Hebei counts cost of natural disasters

(Xinhua)

15:45, July 07, 2012

SHIJIAZHUANG, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters left eight people dead and nearly 3.3 million people affected in north China's Hebei province in the first half of 2012, according to figures released Saturday by Hebei's Department of Civil Affairs.

Droughts, rainstorms and hailstorms in Hebei damaged 299,040 hectares of cropland and destroyed 372 houses, inflicting direct economic losses of 1 billion yuan (157 million U.S. dollars) in the six months, said the department.

Droughts also made 61,000 people suffer from a lack of drinking water, according to the department.

In addition, 108,830 hectares of cropland in 22 county-level areas of Cangzhou, Baoding, Handan and Xingtai were infested with insects, a problem which caused direct economic losses of 42 million yuan.

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