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Heavy storms wreak havoc in China

(China Daily)

09:11, July 18, 2012

A student walks in a flooded classroom at Kaikou Middle School in Duyun, Guizhou province, on Tuesday. (Xinhua Photo)

Torrential rain has ravaged southern China since July 11, leaving 30 dead and another four missing, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said on Tuesday.

Natural disasters - strong winds, hail, floods, landslides and mudslides - caused by the downpours have affected about 7.4 million people in 233 counties in Jiangsu, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Guizhou provinces and Chongqing municipality and forced the evacuation of about 431,000 people, the ministry said in a statement.

Rainstorms caused 12,000 houses to collapse, damaged 64,000 others and flooded 478,500 hectares of cropland, causing direct economic losses of 3.82 billion yuan ($599 million).

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