Heavy storms destroy homes, crops in NW China

June 9, 2013 at 10:50 AM

URUMQI, China, June 9 (UPI) -- Heavy rains in northwestern China have damaged more than 37,000 acres of crops, destroyed 331 houses and affected about 98,717 people, officials said.

Torrential rains, accompanied by hail, have been hitting China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region since Tuesday and were still pounding the area Sunday, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

More than 30,000 acres of farmland have been damaged, 303 homes have been destroyed, and 2,340 head of livestock have died in the storms, the region's Civil Affairs Department said in a statement Sunday.

Floods caused by the rain have destroyed channels, dams, bridges and roads, the statement said. Direct economic losses have been estimated at $17 million.

In northern China's Shanxi province, a hailstorm hit Zhangzi County Saturday, killing one person and injuring three others, the provincial Civil Affairs Department said Sunday.

The storm has damaged more than 7,000 acres of crops, destroyed 28 houses, and caused an estimated $3.2 million in direct economic losses.

The rain is expected to spread to other parts of China Monday, Xinhua said.

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