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WORLD BRIEFING / CHINA : 40 die in early snowstorms

November 14, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Unusually early snowstorms in the north-central region have claimed 40 lives -- including four children -- caused numerous traffic accidents, brought down more than 9,000 buildings, destroyed almost 500,000 acres of winter crops and has cost about $512.8 million in economic losses.

State news reports say some of the snow was induced through cloud seeding. Most Chinese are not prepared to deal with such heavy snow. There are few plows or road de-icing supplies. Snow tires and chains are almost unknown, and many drivers leave their cars at home and turn to public transport in such conditions.

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