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Storm leaves at least 22 people dead

AT least 22 people are dead and 117 are seriously injured after a storm swept central China's Henan and eastern China's Anhui provinces, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Gales, hailstones and heavy rain whipped Henan's Shangqiu, Kaifeng and Jiyuan cities and Anhui's Suzhou, Bozhou and Huaibei on Wednesday night. Eighteen of the fatalities were reported in Shangqiu and four in Kaifeng and Jiyuan, said the ministry in a report.

As of 6pm, about 3.47 million people had been affected by power and water supply stoppages or damage to their homes; 1,546 were evacuated; 9,856 houses collapsed; and more than 40,000 houses damaged, according to the report.

A government official in Henan said the storm hit four counties in Shangqiu City, with winds of up to 108 kilometers per hour. Trees were uprooted and crushed houses, causing the casualties, he said.


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