Natural disasters kill over 370 in China in first half of 2015

At least 379 people have been killed and 56 others missing in natural disasters in China during the first six months this year, an official report said on Thursday.

Beijing: At least 379 people have been killed and 56 others missing in natural disasters in China during the first six months this year, an official report said on Thursday.

Disasters resulted in direct economic losses of 89.24 billion yuan (USD 14.59 billion), forced 1.68 million people to evacuate from their homes and collapsed 107,000 houses, the report posted on the Ministry of Civil Affairs' website said.

The natural disasters included rainstorms, floods, hail, drought and earthquakes, according to the report.

A total of 6.8085 million hectares of crops were affected by drought, flooding and snow, and 610,000 of them went unharvested, it said.

The report said the situation of disasters in the first half of 2015 was less-severe than the same period from 2004 to 2014, excluding 2008.

"From January to June, the Chinese mainland did not see any earthquakes above 6.0-magnitude or above, but had 10 above 5.0-magnitude, mainly in Yunnan, Tibet autonomous region and Xinjiang, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.  

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