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China Allocates Another US$13.5 Mln to Aid Snow-hit Areas

China's Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) and Ministry of Finance on Tuesday allocated 98 million yuan (US$13.5 million) to four rain and snow-hit provinces to help those affected.

The two ministries have so far provided a total of 126 million yuan in financial aid to six provinces hit hard by icy rain and heavy snow.

The six regions include Anhui, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei and Guangxi.

The aid was mainly used to help people affected by the cold weather or those stranded in train stations or on blocked highways.

In a circular issued on Tuesday, MCA called on all local civil affairs agencies to fully participate in the fight against the inclement weather to bail out those affected.

By 2 PM on Monday, heavy snow had killed 24 people around the country since Jan. 10, and affected more than 77.86 million people in 14 provinces. Direct economic loss reached 22.09 billion yuan.

An MCA official said on Tuesday during a live web interview that the ministry would intensify disaster relief work to deal with the impact of the unprecedented snowfall.

The MCA would accelerate the rebuilding of destroyed houses and do more to organize the donation of winter clothes and quilts, said Wang Zhikun, vice director of the MCA's minimum living allowance department.

It would also strengthen coordination with other departments to combat the disaster, Wang added.

(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)

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