Hail, downpours affect central, east China

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NANCHANG/CHANGSHA, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Floods caused by hail and downpours have damaged crops and halted traffic in central and east China, with hundreds of thousands of people affected.

In central China's Hunan Province, hail and storms since Friday evening have damaged 292,000 mu (19,467 hectares) of crops in 52 villages and towns. Of the 239,500 people affected, 12,100 have been evacuated as of 6 p.m. Saturday.

Heavy downpours have flooded houses in Yueyang City in northern part of Hunan, trapping some local residents. Some roads were also flooded, with many vehicles stuck.

More rain is forecasted in the following few days, according to Hunan's provincial meteorological bureau.

In the eastern Jiangxi Province, heavy rain has battered 54 cities and counties as of 6 p.m. Saturday, with some towns flooded and a highway landslide reported on Saturday afternoon. Icy roads have caused several bus accidents in the province.

No casualties have been reported so far.

Editor: yan