8 died from natural disasters in January

Natural disasters took 8 lives and affected a total of 1.93 million people in January, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and National Disaster Reduction Committee (NDRC) said Thursday.

Natural disasters resulted in direct economic losses of 900 million yuan (142.86 million U.S. dollars) during the month, according to a joint statement issued by the MCA and the NDRC.

More than one million hectares of crops were affected by inclement weather, the statement said, adding that 24,000 homes collapsed or were damaged.

Extremely low temperatures and heavy snowfall were the month’s most serious natural phenomena, with earthquakes, droughts, landslides and forest fires also wreaking havoc in some areas, the statement said.

However, the damage inflicted by the disasters was not as serious as in previous years, the statement said.

A total of 28 forest fires occurred in January, down by 89 percent year-on-year.

Xinhua