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Lightning Kills 56 People in China This Year
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Lightning has killed 56 people in China this year, 17 more than the same period last year, Yu Rucong, deputy chief of the China Meteorological Administration, said on Friday.


Another 65 people were injured, 26 more than in the previous year, Yu said, adding the lightning accidents have caused direct economic losses of 10.97 million yuan (US$1.4 million) in the first four months.


Yu said lightning strikes are occurring more frequently as the raining season sets in. On Wednesday afternoon, lightning stuck a village primary school in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, killing seven school kids and injuring 44 students.


Yu ordered local meteorological authorities to provide lightning forecasts via television, radio, Internet, telephone, and mobile phone text message.


Local governments should also provide lightning forecasts to schools and villages, he said.


He also urged local authorities to install lightning rods at schools to prevent further deaths and injuries.


(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2007)

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