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S China braces for more hailstorms


08:13, March 22, 2013

BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- South China will see more storms packing rain, winds and hail over the next three days, Chinese weather authorities said Thursday.

The storms will mainly hit eastern Guizhou, Hunan and northern Jiangxi provinces, according to the National Meteorological Center.

South China has experienced three rounds of similar weather events in March, with the most serious seen on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the center.

Twenty-four people have died and another four remained missing amid the spell of severe weather that has been ripping through southern China since Tuesday, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) said Thursday.

The severe weather has affected 1.53 million residents in Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan, Guangdong and Guizhou provinces, including 215,000 people who have been displaced, the ministry said in a statement.

Also on Thursday, the MCA and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction initiated disaster relief emergency response, urging civil affairs departments and disaster relief materials reserves in the south to step up their preparations for the storms.

The MCA and the commission have called on local civil affairs departments to strengthen communication on weather, water resources and land departments to analyze and estimate the potential damage from the upcoming storms.

Local civil affairs departments are urged to quickly purchase disaster relief materials in order to ensure timely and adequate supplies for those affected by disasters.

These departments should also focus on safety checks for unstable buildings and construction sites, as well as the evacuation of residents in low-lying and flood-prone regions.

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