Early Snowstorms Kill 40 Across North-Central China
Snowstorms have been responsible for 40 deaths and for destroying almost 500,000 acres of crops:
The snowfall is the heaviest in the northern and central provinces of Hebei, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Shandong and Henan since recordkeeping began after the establishment of the Communist state in 1949, the ministry said without giving detailed figures. It estimated economic losses from the storm at the equivalent of $659 million.
Chinese state media said some of the snow was induced through cloud seeding, a measure intended to ease lingering dry conditions. The precise amount of snowfall in all areas was not reported, though, and it was not clear what the previous records were… More than 7.5 million people have been stranded or otherwise affected by the storms, which caused the collapse of more than 9,000 buildings and forced the evacuation of 158,000 people, the ministry said.
The collapsed buildings were an unwelcome reminder of weaknesses in China’s infrastructure. China’s leaders came under heavy criticism after the collapse of school buildings in the devastating 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province that killed thousands of children.
See this earlier CDT post.