GUIYANG, March 14 (Xinhua) -- Over 198,000 people have been affected by thunder and hail storms that have swept southwest China's Guizhou Province over the past two days, local authorities said Thursday.
Twenty-four counties and cities in Guizhou were hit by storms and gales from Tuesday afternoon to early Wednesday, according to Guizhou's provincial civil affairs department.
Initial probes found that the storms toppled houses and damaged 8,700 hectares of farmland, yielding more than 7.1 million yuan (1.13 million U.S. dollars) in direct economic loss.
Local authorities are carrying out disaster relief work and relocating homeless residents.
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