Severe snow disasters have left 1.65 million people snowblind and frostbitten, 500,000 livestock and wildlife dead and 3.1 million others on verge of starvation in Tibetan prefectures of northwestern Qinghai Province.
Since October last year, consecutive low temperature had gripped the province. The temperature plunged to minus 36.3 degrees centigrade, the record lowest in January in the province, said the provincial meteorological bureau.
In Yushu, Guoluo and Huangnan Tibet Autonomous Prefectures, most of the grassland was covered by snow, usually 16 to 32 cm thick, which had brought great losses to local animal husbandry.
In the disaster-stricken prefectures, 130,000 people had run out of fuels, 350,000 people in need of food and 110,000 others short of warm clothes or quilts, said the provincial government.
Currently, the province's task was to evacuate 11,000 people of 2,000 herdsmen households for the local conditions were not fit to live any longer.
Qinghai has allocated 16.85 million yuan for disaster relief but still in shortage of 134 million yuan.
Winter storms have also plagued southern China since mid-January, leading to widespread traffic jams, structural collapses, blackouts and crop losses in 19 provinces, leaving 129 people dead and causing 151.65 billion yuan of losses, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
(Xinhua News Agency March 2, 2008)