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Downpour in Hubei forces 6,000 to evacuate
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About 6,000 people had to flee their homes in Enshi Tujia-Miao Autonomous Prefecture, in central China's Hubei Province, as torrential rains and high winds moved into the region late on Thursday.

The local weather department said Friday that from 6 p.m. Thursday through 8 a.m. Friday, the worst-hit regions were Enshi and Lichuan cities and Jianshi County. Jianshi received 220 mm of rain.

About 428,000 people were affected, with 5,843 forced to evacuate.

Local officials said 14,346 hectares of crops were affected, of which 2,806 ha were destroyed, and 400 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Losses were estimated at 102 million yuan (14.57 million U.S. dollars).

The local weather department said there would be more torrential rains or showers in the next three days, and it warned of related problems such as flash floods and landslides.

(Xinhua News Agency July 4, 2008)

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