Death toll rises to 21 for NW China blizzards

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The death toll due to freezing temperatures and record snowfalls in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region since December had risen to 21, a civil affairs official said Monday.

Forage is unloaded from a train to trucks at Fuhai Railway Station in Altay, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. [Xinhua] 

As of Monday, 1.54 million people had been affected by the snow, which was the worst in six decades in the northern parts of Xinjiang, with 170,000 of them being evacuated from their homes, said Humarjan Mizahmat, director of the regional civil affairs department.

The disaster has damaged 38,000 homes and killed 100,000 heads of livestock in northern Xinjiang, with an estimated direct economic loss of 650 million yuan (95.16 million U.S dollars), the official added.

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