Rainstorms kill 7 in N. China

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HOHHOT, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- At least seven people were killed after a series of rainstorms swept north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region over the weekend, the local government reported Monday.

Torrential rain began falling in northeastern Inner Mongolia Friday, bringing in hail and a sudden cyclone. The storms had caused seven fatalities as of 9 a.m. Monday in six cities, including Hohhot, Chifeng and Tongliao.

More than 2,000 residents were evacuated, and over 1,600 houses collapsed or were damaged.

The rainstorms also damaged 26,300 hectares of crops, 5,000 hectares of which are expect to produce no harvest.

The direct economic loss from the rainstorm has hit 97 million yuan (about 14.5 million U.S. dollars).