Half a billion hit by calamities

BEIJING: Almost half a billion people were affected by natural disasters in China last year, with more than 2,000 dying and some seven million displaced, statistics showed.  

According to figures jointly published yesterday by the National Statistical Bureau and the National Meteorological Bureau, a massive 490 million people, or a third of the population, were hit by calamities like floods and earthquakes. 

It was not clear to what extent they were impacted although 2,259 died, while 7.07 million people were forced to move from their homes to safer places, Xinhua news agency reported. 

In addition, 4.43 million houses were damaged with financial losses running at 188.42bil yuan (RM86.25bil). 

Some 8.55 million hectares of crops were wiped out while 87 million hectares of farmland or cultivated land was damaged. – AP  

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