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1,203 dead in floods last year
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Exceptionally bad floods claimed 1,203 lives and destroyed a million homes in China last year, according to the National Disaster Reduction Center.

The abnormal climate and worse than usual natural disasters resulted in floods that also affected 180 million people and 12 million hectares of farmland.

The Huai River experienced the worst flooding since 1954, while tributaries of the Yangtze, Huang and Pearl rivers were also hit by severe floods.

The center said the joint efforts of officials and thousands of rescue workers had resulted in less than half of the flooding fatalities of an average year, while losses were 20 percent, or more than 200 billion yuan (27.67 billion U.S.dollars), down.

The center also attributed the reduction in casualties and losses to the fact that the government had established early warning systems and coordinated rescue operations.

(Xinhua News Agency January 25, 2008)

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