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Hails Strike Quake-jolted Yushu

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The quake-jolted area in northwestern China's Qinghai Province was attacked by a hailstorm Tuesday noon, which hampered the disaster relief efforts.

Xinhua reporters in Jiegu Township of Yushu Prefecture, or the epicenter, said the hailstorm began at around 12:30 PM and ended in 40 minutes, as lunch was served for quake victims. Thunders were heard from time to time.

The peanut-sized hails disrupted the disaster relief efforts for a while, especially the rescue operation in some areas of Yushu.

Meteorologists warned earlier that tents in the quake-stricken area should be fitted with lightning rods, since they were propped up by metal materials, which made them vulnerable to thunder strikes.

As of Tuesday morning, the 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which struck Yushu last Wednesday, has left 2,046 people dead and 193 others missing, according to the rescue headquarters.

(Xinhua News Agency April 20, 2010)

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