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Natural disasters on Chinese mainland kill 782


16:44, July 08, 2013

BEIJING, July 8 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters across China killed 782 people and left another 67 missing in the first half of 2013, official statistics showed on Monday.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction said in a statement that more than 152.47 million residents on the Chinese mainland were affected by disasters and 2.45 million people were forced to relocate.

The country's southwest suffered from severe natural disasters, while its central and western regions were affected by lingering haze, according to the statement.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit Lushan in southwest China's Sichuan Province on April 20, killing at least 196 people.

In addition to the earthquake, the country was hit by draught, floods,snow-triggered disasters, hail, landslides, sandstorms, prairie fires, storms, typhoons and frost from January to June.

The disasters caused direct economic losses of 173 billion yuan (28.2 billion U.S. dollars), with about 177,000 homes demolished and about 14.2 million hectares of farmland affected, according to the statement.

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