Melting snow wreaks havoc in Xinjiang

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URUMQI, March 19 (Xinhua) -- More than 16,000 people have been affected and thousands of houses damaged by floods triggered by melting snow in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said Tuesday.

Temperatures in Xinjiang's northern Burqin County are rising, leading to melting snow in mountainous areas and flooding. It has caused damage and direct economic losses of more than 80 million yuan (12.87 million U.S. dollars).

As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, more than 16,000 people in the county were affected, and about 7,000 houses collapsed or were damaged by the floods. More than 2,300 residents have been relocated, according to Xinjiang's Civil Affairs Department.

Local Communist Party members and villagers have been dispatched to repair and reinforce channels and dams, and eliminate potential risks and reduce economic losses.

Editor: An