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Heavy rains kill 19 in southern China

May 13, 2013 at 11:56 AM

BEIJING, May 13 (UPI) -- Heavy rains that have been hitting southern China over the past week have resulted in the deaths of 19 people and left one person missing, officials said.

Continuous rains since May 6 and resulting floods have affected more than 3.47 million people in south China, with 187,000 people in need of resettlement and other aid, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

About 5,00 houses have been destroyed and 46,000 others have been damaged. The rains have also destroyed about 66,471 acres of crops. Economic losses are estimated at $290 million, said a statement released Monday by the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Committee for Disaster Reduction

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and the provinces of Hunan and Guizhou were the hardest-hit regions, the statement said.

The ministry has issued disaster management instructions for relief officials in affected regions and relief materials, including cotton tents, quilts, folding beds and sleeping bags, are being are being disbursed in those areas.

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