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Rainstorms kill 30 in southern, central China

(Xinhua)

16:13, July 17, 2012

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Torrential rain has ravaged south and central China's provincial areas since July 11, leaving 30 dead and another four missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.

Natural disasters -- strong wind, hail, floods, landslides and mudslides -- caused by the downpours had affected about 7.4 million people in 233 counties in seven provincial areas including Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou and forced the areas to be evacuated of about 431,000 residents, the ministry said in a statement.

Rainstorms left 12,000 houses collapsed and another 64,000 damaged, and inundated 478,500 hectares of cropland, causing direct economic losses of 3.82 billion yuan (about 599.27 million U.S. dollars).

National disaster relief and civil affairs authorities have initiated a fourth-grade emergency response and sent two teams to the worst-affected provinces of Hubei and Guizhou to direct relief work.

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