Natural disasters affect 23.1 mln people in China in October

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Editor: Lu Hui

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters affected about 23.1 million people in China last month, with 21 killed and 304,000 relocated, according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

Destroying houses and damaging crops, natural disasters caused direct economic losses of 19.77 billion yuan (about 2.8 billion U.S. dollars) in October, the ministry said.

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

Due to the lingering drought in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, the damaged crop areas and direct economic losses increased by 153 percent and 36 percent, respectively, according to the ministry.

However, the overall impact of natural disasters last month was smaller from the same period over the past five years, with the death toll and missing population, relocated population and number of collapsed houses down by 28 percent, 18 percent and 86 percent, respectively.