Heavy snowfall wreaks havoc in China; 21 killed
Beijing: Heavy snowfall in China continued to wreak havoc on Monday, damaging houses, agriculture and power facilities, with authorities saying 21 people have been killed and millions hit in the last one week.
The provinces that have been badly hit by the weather are Anhui, Henan, Jiangsu, Hubei, Hunan, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Chongqing Municipality, the China National Commission for Disaster Reduction said.
More than 3,700 people have been relocated and 14,000 are in need of emergency assistance, said the commission, noting that over 700 houses had collapsed and nearly 2,800 were damaged, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The weather has affected more than 233,100 hectares of farmland, with more than 8,100 hectares destroyed, causing direct economic losses of 5.55 billion yuan (USD 854 million), it said.
Nineteen expressways in northeast Liaoning province have been closed or controlled since snow started last night, according to local transport authorities.
The snow will result in icy roads, the local observatory said in its forecast. Liaoning will see temperatures plunge by up to 10 degrees Celsius due to the snowfall, it said.
In Xinyang city, central China's Henan province, snowfall from Wednesday to Friday, the worst since local records began in 1951, killed one person and injured three others.
Primary and middle schools in the city have suspended classes since Thursday.
The disaster flattened 26 houses and damaged over 2,000 hectares of crops, causing total economic losses of 219 million yuan (USD 33.8 million), officials said.
In eastern China's Anhui province, quilts and coats have been distributed to residents to withstand the biting cold, following heavy snow since Wednesday, the worst in Anhui since 2008.
The snow has affected 1.5 million people and damaged over 160,000 hectares of crops, causing total economic losses of 3.5 billion yuan, Xinhua quoted the provincial government as saying.