BEIJING: Natural disasters killed 87 people in China in the first quarter of 2019, the Ministry of Emergency Management said Sunday. In the first three months, natural disasters including hailstorms, forest fires, earthquakes and snowstorms affected nearly 1.4 million people and caused 13,000 people to relocate, the ministry said in a statement.
Destroying houses and damaging crops, the natural disasters caused direct economic losses of 2.79 billion yuan (about 415 million U.S. dollars). Geological disasters and forest fires in Q1 led to heavy casualties, the ministry said. Thirty people died in geological disasters and 39 people were killed by forest fires in the past three months.
The ministry said southern China saw more rainfall in Q1 compared with the same period in recent years, with the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan and Yunnan suffering from severe floods. Overall, the casualties and losses of natural disasters in Q1 were less than the average during the same period over the past five years, with the number of people affected and direct economic losses declining by 85 percent and 73 percent respectively, the ministry said. Xinhua