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2 die in Xinjiang winds

WINDS with an average speed of 50 kilometers per hour caused two deaths, six injuries and disrupted traffic in parts of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, police and weather forecasters said yesterday.

A 60-year-old man in Aksu Prefecture on the China-°?Kyrgyzstan border died after he was hit by a falling tree near his home on Thursday afternoon, the local public security bureau said.

A similar accident killed a farmer in Aksu's Wensu County on Thursday, a bureau spokesman said.

The wind, which swept most parts of Xinjiang from midday Thursday, reduced visibility to below 50 meters in Aksu, the regional weather center said yesterday.

"In some areas, the wind was 80km per hour and visibility was down to 2m or 3m," the center said.

Several billboards in Aksu City toppled in the wind, injuring three women and an eight-year-old girl, said the public security bureau.

Police in Turpan Prefecture worked overnight to rescue 14 people, trapped in six vehicles stranded on a country road in Turpan by strong winds on Thursday afternoon.

All 14 were rescued unharmed, said police officer Yuan Fenqiang with Turpan Public Security Bureau.


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