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Storms Leave at least 14 Dead in China's Quake Zone

At least 14 people were killed in the quake-battered Sichuan Province where torrential rains triggered disasters, confirmed local government on Thursday.

The victims were from Mianyang City, where 40 others were reported missing. Nearly 1.19 million people there were affected by rainstorms.

Downpour and ensuing flash floods, landslides and mud-rock flows also destroyed 42,121 houses, toppled 15,979 others. Some 60,893.3 hectares of crops were ruined and 5,310 cattle were killed.

Direct economic loss was estimated at 1.2 billion yuan (about US$0.18 billion), according to the disaster relief office under the Mianyang city government.

In the Qingchuan County, rescuers managed to establish contact with the last five cut-off villages and townships, where basic facilities and farmlands were severely damaged but no casualties have been reported yet.

Rescuers are repairing the damaged roads and cables while water and electricity supplies are on the way.

Rainstorm swept the southwestern province on Wednesday, plaguing the people there still recovering from the May 12 massive earthquake.

(Xinhua News Agency September 26, 2008)

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