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China's snowstorms claim over 100 lives

MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - China's worst snowstorms in 50 years have killed a total of 107 people in the past month, the country's Xinhua news agency said on Wednesday.

The extreme weather has wreaked havoc on the country's economy causing damage of about $15.3 billion, said Civil Affairs Minister Li Xueju. So far the government has allocated $73.79 million in emergency funding for 19 disaster-stricken provinces.

More than four weeks of snow and cold weather in China have affected a total of 100 million people in 21 provinces, including Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan in central, southern and eastern China.

About 1.5 million people have been evacuated from the blizzard-hit areas and over 350,000 homes have collapsed.

Crops and farmland have been particularly badly hit with 24.4 million hectares of agricultural land and 18.6 million hectares of forest affected. Earlier the Ministry of Agriculture said that 14.4 million poultry had died from the cold, as well as over 870,000 pigs, 450,000 sheep and 85,000 cattle.

Local weather forecasters said more snow was expected across China in the coming days.

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