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January 13, 2010

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Severe winter kills 4 in Xinjiang Uygur region

FOUR people have died as severe winter conditions have hit northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, local authorities said yesterday.

Avalanches killed a villager in Altay Prefecture on Thursday and two herdsmen in Ili Prefecture on Sunday. The fourth, a Kazakh villager of Toli County, Tacheng Prefecture, was found frozen to death in the Gobi desert on Sunday. Police said Diersi Bazar Khan, 21, planned to walk back home after drinking alcohol in the county capital at about 4pm on Saturday, but the villager died on the way.

Temperatures plummeted to minus 23 degrees Celsius at the weekend in Xinjiang, China's Central Meteorological Station said.

More than 100,000 houses have been flattened or damaged and 15,200 livestock died. Almost 300 people have been injured and about 8,600 have been evacuated, according to the regional Department of Civil Affairs.


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