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Natural catastrophes take heavy toll

By Wang Qian | | Updated: 2013-04-08 20:30

Geological disasters killed 145 people in China from January to March, a total that is four times the average during that period for the past 20 years, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Land and Resources on Monday.

In the first quarter, the nation had 329 geological disasters, causing direct economic losses of more than 370 million yuan ($59 million), according to the ministry.

The ministry warned more disasters could be triggered in southern China by heavy rain expected in May and June occur the country, and during April geological disasters such as mountain floods could be triggered by snowmelt in northwestern regions.

Local land resources authorities have made preparations to prevent casualties and damage from such disasters.

In the Three Gorges Dam region, the ministry has asked authorities to keep a close watch for rising water levels, to anticipate any flooding caused by heavy rain.

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