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New round of hailstorms affect 838,000 people


11:01, March 24, 2013

Villagers repairs roof at Shuangxi Village of Shuangxi Township in Jing'an County, east China's Jiangxi Province, March 23, 2013. Heavy rainfall and hailstorm battered the county Friday, causing severe waterlogging. In the havoc, gales and hailstorms damaged 5,700 houses, affecting more than 26,780 people.(Xinhua/Xu Zhongting)

BEIJING, March 23 (Xinhua) -- A rew round of hails and storms hitting central and south China on Friday had killed one and affected some 838,000 people as of 8:p.m. Saturday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Figures released late Saturday by the ministry show that 42 cities and counties in the municipality of Chongqing and the provinces of Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan and Guizhou have been ravaged by the extreme weather, leaving at least 150,000 people in urgent need of resettlement and basic living aids.

The storm has toppled more than 1,000 houses and damaged another 138,000 ones in the above-mentioned areas. It also damaged 43,200 hectares of crops, of which 6,800 hectares were destroyed.

The direct economic loss caused by the weather was currently estimated at 590 million yuan (94 million U.S. dollars).

Local authorities in Hunan revealed earlier that three people died during hailstorms between Tuesday and Friday, and a strong hailstorm on Wednesday resulted in nine deaths in a city in south China's Guangdong Province.

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