Gales and hailstorms killed at least 33 people, injured more than 150 and destroyed hundreds of homes in southwest China early on Thursday, state media said.
The hailstorms and ferocious winds hit Dianjiang and Liangping counties near the southwest Chinese city of Chongqing, killing 29 residents and knocking down 980 residential buildings, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
One resident was still missing, the report said.
In Hunan province, next to Chongqing, four people died and one was missing after the gales and driving rain struck Xinhua County from late Wednesday night, Xinhua said.
Infrastructure and crops were also battered, with the cost of the sudden storm expected to run over 120 million yuan ($17.6 million) in Dianjiang alone, Xinhua said.
In the stricken areas near Chongqing, more than 70,000 people were temporarily evacuated, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.
The maximum speed of the winds reached 108 km per hour (67 mph), the report said. ($1=6.826 Yuan)
ReutersLast Mod: 06 Mayıs 2010, 16:53