17 die in China hailstorm (Lead)

April 18th, 2011 - 11:07 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, April 18 (IANS) At least 17 people were killed and 118 were injured after hailstorms, cloudburst and strong winds ravaged a south China province, officials said Monday.

Gales as strong as 45.5 metres per second, accompanied by hailstorm and lashing rain battered Guangzhou, Foshan, Zhaoqing and Dongguan cities in Guangdong province Sunday, Xinhua reported citing a provincial flood control office spokesperson.

The victims were mostly killed after walls and work sheds collapsed due to strong winds.

Till late Sunday, the disaster affected over 500 hectares of farmland and caused about 50 million yuan ($7.65 million) in economic losses, the ministry of civil affairs said.

The provincial government has dispatched a team to the affected areas for relief work.

In the southwestern province of Guizhou, hailstorms affected the lives of over 270,000 people in 10 counties during the weekend and causing economic losses worth 75 million yuan, authorities said.

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