Natural disasters affect 1.7 mln people in China in April

BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters affected about 1.7 million people in China last month, with 47 killed, 3 missing and 15,000 relocated, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management Tuesday.

Destroying houses and damaging crops, natural disasters caused direct economic losses of 3.23 billion yuan in April (about 477.71 million U.S. dollars), the ministry said.

The country was mainly hit by floods and hailstorms last month, while earthquakes, landslides, low temperatures, snow disasters and forest fires caused damages to various extents.

Specifically, floods affected 714,000 people and forced 10,000 to be relocated, while hailstorms affected 931,000 people and damaged 15,000 houses.

The impact of natural disasters in April was generally slightly less compared to the same period over the past five years, with the affected population, number of damaged houses and direct economic losses reduced by 82 percent, 76 percent and 68 percent, respectively, the ministry added.