1,630 Chinese killed in natural disasters so far this year

Floods, landslides and other natural disasters have claimed 1,630 lives in China so far this year, according to state media.

In the same period, 13.4 million people have been evacuated and 1.45 million houses have been destroyed, the People's Daily website said, citing Vice Civil Affairs Minister Jia Zhibang.

Overall economic losses from disasters have hit 163 billion yuan (20.1 billion dollars) so far this year, Jia was quoted as saying.

"Since the 1990s, there has been a clear trend for rising economic costs from natural disasters," the People's Daily said.

"It's become an important factor influencing economic development and social stability," the AFP reports.

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