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The Chinese government has put 20 million yuan into a disaster relief fund after severe rain storms devastated parts of Gansu province earlier this week. The extreme weather has left 37 people dead, and another 19 missing.
Soldiers clear the mud left by a flood following a hail and rain storm in Chabu Town, Minxian County, northwest China's Gansu Province, May 11, 2012. Hail and torrential rains which battered Minxian County on Thursday has killed 37 people and 19 others remained missing as of Friday night. A disaster relief team which consisted of officials from nine ministries has rushed to the county to guide the relief work. (Xinhua/Bao Xintian)
Over 300, 000 people in Minxian County have been affected by the storms. Nearly 30,000 were forced to evacuate. Roads have been blocked, houses collapsed, and farmland destroyed by the extreme weather.
But help is on the way - A disaster relief team has been dispatched to the area, made up of officials from nine separate government ministries.
About 2,000 officials, as well as 800 soldiers and militiamen, have been trudging through tough conditions to rescue trapped villagers. And, Gansu provincial Red Cross is sending 1,000 quilts and 1,000 coats to Minxian to help with disaster relief efforts.
Meanwhile, local authorities have been making sure the evacuated residents get enough food and water. Minxian's civil affairs bureau says the storm only lasted an hour, but still wreaked havoc all over the county
Six townships lost power, and the storm dealt heavy damage to homes, hospitals and schools. Traffic was disrupted on two major highways and over 7,000 hectares of crops were destroyed.
Minxian is a mountainous county, about 150 kilometers away from Zhouqu County, where rain storms triggered a mudslide back in August 2010 that killed more than 1,500 people.