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China Quake Death Toll Rises to 9,219

The death toll from a Monday earthquake in southwest China's Sichuan Province has climbed to 9,219, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The 7.8-magnitude quake has killed 9,219 people in eight affected provinces and municipality including Sichuan, Gansu, Shaanxi, Chongqing, Yunnan, Shanxi, Guizhou and Hubei, the ministry said in a release issued at 7:00 AM on Tuesday.

Of the killed, 8,993 were in Sichuan, 132 in Gansu, 85 in Shaanxi, eight in Chongqing and one in Yunnan, the ministry said.

The quake jolted Sichuan's Wenchuan County at 2:28 PM on Monday, which also leveled some 500,000 rooms in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, the ministry said strong winds and hailstorms lashed Hubei, Hebei and Jiangsu provinces from Sunday evening to early Monday morning, affecting more than 630,000 people.

In central China's Hubei Province, the hailstorms attacked 10 counties, affecting 515,000 people, collapsing 85 rooms of 33 households and damaging another 4,761 rooms as of 11 AM on Monday. The direct economic loss was estimated at 385 million yuan (US$55 million).

Hailstorms also lashed three counties of north China's Hebei Province on Sunday, affecting 92,100 locals and resulting in a direct economic loss of 7.65 million yuan.

In east China's Jiangsu Province, 24,000 people also suffered from strong winds and hails Sunday evening. Four rooms were leveled and 60 others damaged with a direct economic loss of 1.46 million yuan.

(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2008)

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