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Melting snow wrecks 10,000 houses in Xinjiang
Updated: 2005-03-24 09:35

Nearly 10,000 houses have been destroyed and more than 25,000 damaged by flooding and landslides caused by melting snow in China's northwest Xinjiang region, local officials said.

Chinese People's Liberation Army soldiers march in the snow on Tianshan Mountain in northwest China's Xinjiang Region in December 2004. Nearly 10,000 houses have been destroyed by flooding and landslides caused by melting snow in China's Xinjiang region. [AFP/file]

At least one person was killed along with nearly 5,000 head of livestock, officials at the civil affairs bureau of the Kazak Autonomous Prefecture of Ili said.

More than 3,000 people have been evacuated.

"The floods started on March 11 and the situation was very serious for about eight days, but it's now stable," said an official who did not want to be named.

"There are still snowpacks that haven't melted on the mountains so we are preparing for more floods."

The raging waters have also destroyed 796 hectares (1,990 acres) of crops and inundated large tracts of arable land.

The Xinhua news agency said snow on the Tianshan Mountains was much thicker this year than usual and had melted faster than expected as temperatures quickly rose at the beginning of the month.

Heavy rainfall exacerbated the situation.

It said local governments have put flood-control measures into place and organized relief operations.

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