Natural disasters kill 1,074 in China this year
Updated: 2016-07-26 15:34
BEIJING -- Natural disasters across China have left at least 1,074 people dead and 270 unaccounted for since the beginning of the year, an official at the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Tuesday.
The most notable events included floods, heavy winds, hail and a range of geological disasters, said Yang Xiaodong, deputy head of the disaster relief department in the ministry.
In total, natural disasters caused 298 billion yuan ($44 billion) in direct economic losses. About 400,000 houses collapsed and 6.24 million residents were relocated, with the vast majority of disasters occurring since June.
Total damage in the first seven months of the year was much heavier than over the same period in recent years, Yang said.
Since June, natural disasters have left 833 people dead and 233 missing, the largest number of casualties over the same period since 2011. Disasters since June have caused an estimated 253 billion yuan in direct economic losses. Anhui, Fujian, Guizhou, Hebei, Hubei, Jiangsu and Jiangxi were the hardest hit regions.
The central government has allocated more than 1.67 billion yuan this year to help people in disaster-hit areas through emergency relocation, resettlement, reconstruction of damaged houses, and to assist those who have lost loved ones, Yang said.
This year, the ministry and the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction have sent 17 emergency teams to assist relief work on the ground.