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CORRECTED-Heavy rain in China kills at least 24, thousands evacuated
July 23, 2016 / 4:41 AM / a year ago

CORRECTED-Heavy rain in China kills at least 24, thousands evacuated

(Corrects number of people evacuated, affected)

SHANGHAI, July 23 (Reuters) - Heavy rain in China has killed at least 24 people and forced thousands from their homes, state media reported on Saturday.

The government of Henan province in central China told the Xinhua news agency that 15 people were killed and eight were missing after thunderstorms and strong winds forced 72,000 people from their homes and damaged 18,000 houses.

Nine people have been killed and 11 are missing in neighbouring Hebei province, authorities in its Xingtai city said on social media late on Friday.

Nearly 90,000 people have been evacuated in Hebei, they said.

Altogether 2.3 million people have been affected by the flooding, according state media and local government reports.

Large parts of China have been inundated with rain this summer, killing more than 200 people.

More than 1.5 million hectares of crops have been damaged, leading to direct economic losses of more than 20 billion yuan ($3 billion), the government has said.

The central bank on Friday issued a statement saying it would provide financial support for flooded areas. ($1 = 6.6760 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Brenda Goh and Ruby Lian; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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