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Natural disasters kill 1,263 Chinese Jan.-Sept.

(Xinhua)

14:19, October 13, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- A total of 1,263 people were killed and another 189 went missing in natural disasters across China in the first three quarters of 2012, official statistics showed on Friday.

Figures released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and the National Committee for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) showed that 310 million residents on the Chinese mainland were affected by the disasters, which caused direct economic losses of 347.7 billion yuan (55.5 billion U.S. dollars).

About 825,000 houses were demolished and 32.5 million hectares of farmland affected, according to authorities.

From January to September, China was plagued with flooding, wind and hail, typhoons, droughts, earthquakes, plant diseases and insect pests, low temperatures, heavy snow and sandstorms, among other natural disasters.

In the period, the southern part of the country was hit hard by heavy rain and floods, the northern part by mountain torrents and waterlogging, the coastal region by typhoons and the west by earthquakes, according to the MCA and NCDR.

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