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Xinjiang incurs huge losses from natural disasters
( 2003-12-09 22:12) (Xinhua)

China's westernmost Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region has incurred great economic losses from incessant natural adversities this year.

Frequent earthquakes, storms, hails, floods and landslides have claimed 339 lives and caused more than 4 billion yuan (US$480 million) of direct economic loss and over 2 billion yuan of loss in agriculture, according to the disaster relief department of the regional civil affairs bureau.

Disasters like spring sandstorms led to a drop in farm yields, even practically no harvest in some places. Tempests and hail in summer affected 1.8 million people with a loss of 36 lives.

A dozen quakes measuring five or above on the Richter scale have jolted the region this year, killing 289 people with over 2 billion yuan (about US$240 million) in economic loss.

The central government has earmarked more than 130 million yuan in relief funds and appealed for social donations to help the region's reconstruction, said Qu Songlin, deputy head of the department.

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