Natural disasters kill 204 in China in H1

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BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters killed 204 people in China in the first six months of this year, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction.

An additional 83 people are currently reported as missing, the authorities said in a statement Wednesday. According to the statement, floods and geological hazards were mainly to blame, accounting for 134 deaths.

Altogether, natural disasters caused 51.9 billion yuan (about 7.64 billion U.S. dollars) of direct economic losses.

About 1 million people were displaced, 31,000 houses were destroyed and 74,000 houses were severely damaged. Close to 7.1 million hectares of crops were affected, with some 355,600 hectares destroyed.