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Rainstorms Kill 8 in Hubei
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Eight people died in rainstorms that lashed central China's Hubei Province over the weekend, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Sunday.

Rainstorms also hit southwest China's Sichuan on Friday, killing one person, affecting 490,000 people and 2,335 hectares of crops, and causing losses of 6.4 million yuan, said an official with the headquarters.

In adjacent Chongqing Municipality, one person is missing and 614 people were evacuated after flooding in Yubei, Jiangjin, and Yongchuan districts. A total of 180,000 people and 3,150 hectares of crops were affected with losses standing at 27 million yuan.

From 8:00 AM Friday to 8:00 AM Saturday, 60 towns and villages in central China's Hubei Province were struck by rainstorms that left eight people dead, damaged 2,600 houses and affected 42,688 hectares of crops, with losses reaching 263 million yuan, according to the official.

The province was still recovering from heavy downpours that hit more than 40 counties on Wednesday, causing floods, landslides, and mud-rock flows that left 16 people dead and 15 missing, when the next rainstorm came in on Friday.

Rainstorms also hit Shanghai, as well as Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, and Zhejiang provinces last week, affecting about 167,500 hectares of crops and destroying 19,200 hectares, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

At least 61 people were killed, including 40 who died in lightning strikes in Jiangxi and Zhejiang.

Beijing was also hit by heavy rain from 8:00 AM Saturday to 6:00 AM Sunday. The city received 34 millimeters of rainfall, which increased the ground water reserve but did not cause flooding, said the official.

(Xinhua News Agency July 2, 2007)

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