Natural disasters leave 402 dead, 91 missing in July: ministry

BEIJING, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters, mainly floods and hailstorms, left 402 people dead and 91 missing in July, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) on Thursday.

The ministry said more than 61.8 million people were affected by natural disasters in the month, with 4.64 million people relocated. A total of 244,000 houses collapsed and 871,000 were damaged.

The natural disasters also affected 5.19 million hectares of farmland, with 624,900 hectares yielding no crops at all, causing direct economic losses totaling 85.52 billion yuan (13.45 billion U.S. dollars), the ministry said.

According to the statement, natural disasters in July were mainly floods and hailstorms, resulting in heavier losses than in the same period last year.

Torrential rains and floods in Beijing and north China's Hebei province have left 112 dead and 21 missing since July 21, the statement said.

Editor: Lu Hui