Snow prompts evacuations in China's Xinjiang: report

China was rushing tents and other relief supplies to its northwestern Xinjiang region after heavy snow killed one person and forced the evacuation of nearly 5,500 others, state media said Sunday.

China was rushing tents and other relief supplies to its northwestern Xinjiang region after heavy snow killed one person and forced the evacuation of nearly 5,500 others, state media said Sunday. (AFP Graphic)

Snowstorms that raged until Friday also "flattened" 799 houses and damaged 4,897 others, the report by Xinhua news agency said.

The snow, part of a fierce cold snap that has gripped much of the nation since the New Year, also caused power blackouts and transport chaos in parts of the traditionally Muslim region bordering on Central Asia.

The Ministry of Civil Affairs was sending 5,000 tents, 10,000 coats, and 10,000 quilts to the region to aid those affected, Xinhua said.

It added that the region's government had allocated 15 million yuan (2.2 million dollars) for disaster relief in the affected areas.

China has endured an unusually early and cold winter, reaching its height since January 1 with heavy snow across northern regions of the country, rare snowfalls further south, and persistent sub-freezing temperatures.

The situation has caused several provinces and regions to ration electricity or take other power-saving moves to reduce strain on electric grids as residents turn up the heat to stay warm.

Source: AFP

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