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26 dead, three missing in southern China rainstorms

BEIJING--Five days of rainstorms in southern China have left 26 people dead and another three missing and led to direct economic losses of 4 billion yuan (US$650 million), according to the country's Ministry of Civil Affairs.

A total of 337,000 people have been evacuated and 115,000 are in urgent need of relief supplies as a result of the rainstorms that started Wednesday, the ministry said in a statement Sunday.

Eleven of the fatalities occurred in Hunan province, where another two people are missing, the ministry said. The five other provinces where people have died included Jiangxi and Fujian.

The rainstorms across nine provinces have led to floods and landslides, and toppled more than 8,700 houses, damaged another 66,000 and left 42,000 hectares of crops unusable, the statement said.

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