Storms claim 39 lives in China, country faces severe economic losses

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New Delhi, May 7 (ANI): Storms have claimed the lives of at least 39 people in the southwestern and central parts of the China from Wednesday night to Thursday, local government authorities said.

Officials fear that the casualty count is going to go up in the coming days.

Torrential rains have been hammering down on Xinhua county of Hunan province killing four people and leaving one missing.

The rains have also precipitated major land-slides and mud-slides.

The extreme weather that started on Wednesday night in Chongqing had left 190 people injured as of 3:45 pm on Thursday.

The storms hit seven counties in Chongqing, with Hanjia and Pengshui reporting rainfall of up to 157 mm in the 24 hours to noon on Thursday, while wind speeds of up to 112 km per hour lashed worst-hit Dianjiang and Liangping, China Daily reports.

"The trees in front of my house were uprooted or broke into half. My house roof, which was made of steel boards, was also ripped apart. I have never seen it this bad before," said Liangping resident Huang Hongzhi.

"A number of injured senior villagers don't have relatives to take care of them in the hospital because young people had gone out to work in big cities," Hua Wenfeng, general office director of Liangping People's Hospital, told China Daily. Hua said the hospital has been treating most of the patients hit by the disaster.

The foul weather has adversely affected the lives of over 382,000 people in China, resulting in direct economic losses to the tune of 560 million yuan.

More than 1,300 houses were smashed and 3,160 people left homeless, it said.y Thursday afternoon, 830,000 people were still trapped by the flood while 8,200 people could not return home since 3,760 houses were damaged.

About 15 reservoirs showed signs of danger and 53 others had opened sluiceways to discharge floods, the statement said.

The calamitous weather will lead to astronomical economic losses for China. Apart from the loss of lives the weather has damaged the county's agriculture, fishery, and animal farming industries.

Economic damage was estimated at more than 120 million yuan ($17.6 million), an official who only gave his surname as Wang from the county's emergency office told China Daily.

The rains have destroyed at least 197,972 hectares of crops, 35.65 million tons of fish stocks, 2,843 heads of cattle and 105,000 poultry in the county, he added.(ANI)

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