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Thunderstorms Forecast for Quake-hit Sichuan Province

The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) on Monday warned that thunderstorms will hit eastern parts of the earthquake-hit Sichuan Province on Monday and Tuesday.

Sichuan, in southwest China, was rocked by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake on May 12, which claimed at least 62,664 lives and left 358,816 injured and 23,775 missing, according to the State Council Information Office.

The forecast weather could increase the risks posed by river blockages in some quake-hit areas.

The CMA also predicted thunderstorms accompanied with strong winds and even hailstorms in other regions, including the central part of northeast China, east China's Shandong Province, Chongqing Municipality and Guizhou Province in southwest China.

The heavy rains would also increase harvesting difficulties for farmers in wheat-growing regions such as Shaanxi, Henan and Hunan provinces.

Thunderstorms have hit much of China this month. On Saturday, a tornado and a hailstorm in Wuchang City, in the northeastern Heilongjiang Province, killed one person and left 36 injured.

(Xinhua News Agency May 26, 2008)

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