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Natural disasters leave 47 dead in January


10:41, February 06, 2013

BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters across China killed 47 people and left another two missing in January, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced on Tuesday.

Disasters affected 7.39 million people and forced the evacuation of 25,000 people in the month, according to the ministry.

The disasters caused direct economic losses of 2.56 billion yuan (about 407 million U.S. dollars), with more than 1,900 houses toppled and about 1.54 million hectares of farmland affected, according to authorities.

Seismic activity also saw an increase on the Chinese mainland. Eight earthquakes measuring greater than four on the Richter scale occurred in January, the most to occur during the period for the last five years, said the ministry.

According to statistics from the ministry, intense smog hit 30 provinces across the country in January, with the average number of smoggy days hitting 4.3, the highest number during the same period since 1961.

Smog in central and east China has been heavier and more frequent compared with previous years in the same period, according to the ministry.

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