BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters across China claimed 14 lives and left another five people missing in February, as well as affected nearly 13 million people, the Ministry of Civil Affairs (MCA) announced on Wednesday.
Disasters forced the evacuation of 13,000 people and toppled more than 1,600 houses, according to a statement jointly released by the MCA and the National Commission for Disaster Reduction.
The disasters caused direct economic losses of 4.92 billion yuan (791.05 million U.S. dollars) and affected about 1.46 million hectares of farmland, rendering a total of 90,100 hectares unharvestable, according to authorities.
Eighteen earthquakes measuring greater than four on the Richter scale occurred in February, the ministry said.
The number of major disasters decreased slightly compared to previous years, according to the ministry.
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