China

Natural disasters leave 104,000 people dead or missing in China

Natural disasters in China left 104,000 people dead or missing from 2005 to 2010, the greatest number of such fatalities in a five-year period since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, a vice minister of civil affairs has said.

Vice Minister of Civil Affairs Luo Pingfei told a national meeting on disasters reduction and relief that opened in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, Thursday that disasters in the past five years caused an aggregate economic loss of 2.5 trillion yuan (about 378.8 billion U.S. dollars).

China was rocked by a series of devastating disasters over the past five years -- including the magnitude-8 earthquake that struck Wenchuan, Sichuan Province in May 2008 that left more than 80,000 dead or missing.

"The government's disaster relief responses are timely, effective, and orderly," said Luo.

Editor: An Lu

Source: Xinhua