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Death toll rises to 31 in Hebei after rainstorms

SHIJIAZHUANG, July 25 — The death toll has climbed to 31 since rainstorms hit north China's Hebei province over the weekend, provincial authorities said Wednesday.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, 20 people remained missing following the rainstorms that brought flooding and hail to 58 counties in Hebei, according to the provincial civil affairs bureau.

A total of 33,586 houses were destroyed and 161,700 hectares of cropland sustained damage. Direct economic losses totalled more than 10 billion yuan (1.56 billion U.S. dollars).

Relief goods, including 4,000 tents, 20,000 coats and 20,000 quilts, allocated by the Ministry of Civil Affairs were expected to be sent to the disaster-hit region Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, the rainstorm has left more than 40,000 people without drinking water and demolished over 30,000 mu (2,000 hectares) of cropland in Laiyuan county, according to the county government.

Torrential rains have devastated 22 provincial-level regions in China since July 20, including Beijing where the heaviest rains in 60 years fell on Saturday, leaving 37 dead. Rainstorms had left 111 dead and another 47 missing across the country as of Tuesday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs. (PNA/Xinhua) CTB/rsm

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