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Heavy snowstorms kill 129 in China
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Cold weather and snowstorms that struck much of central and southern China over a month since mid January have claimed 129 lives, a senior official said in Beijing on Saturday.

Aside from the death toll, four others remain missing and 1.66 million people have been relocated, said Civil Affairs Vice Minister Li Liguo.

Over 178 million mu (11.86 million hectares) of cropland have been affected in the winter havoc and 485,000 houses collapsed, Li said.

Freezing temperatures, icy rain and heavy snow also caused 151.65 billion yuan (US$21.11 billion) in economic losses, Li said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 23, 2008)

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