Icy weather, sleet force over 100,000 to evacuate in SW China

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Icy weather and sleet have left one person dead and forced the evacuation of 104,900 people from their homes in southwest China's Guizhou Province since New Year's Day, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Wednesday.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the freezing weather had disrupted the lives of more than 4.64 million people in 83 counties of the province, where accumulated ice had caused more than 8,000 homes to collapse, said a statement on the ministry's website.

Economic losses were estimated at 1.28 billion yuan (194 million U.S. dollars).

The ministry sent 1,000 tents to Guizhou to house those evacuated and dispatched a working group to direct disaster relief Wednesday.

The ministry has prepared 100,000 cotton-padded coats and 110,000 quilts for those evacuated in Sichuan, Guizhou, Hunan provinces, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chongqing Municipality, which has been hit by the harsh weather since Jan. 1.

The Guizhou provincial government has allocated 6 million yuan to disaster relief.

The provincial government also set up 167 temporary aid centers to distribute relief payments and supplies including clothes, quilts, food and water to the disaster-affected residents.

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