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Death toll in China storm rises to 44; 26 missing

  • ASSOCIATED PRESSIn this May 11, 2012 photo released by China' Xinhua News Agency, villager Jia Xinping, left, stands next to the remains of his house destroyed by hail and torrential rains in Minxian County in northwest China's Gansu Province. The death toll from hail and rain storms in a mountainous area in northwest China has risen to 40. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Nie Jianjiang) NO SALES
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    In this May 11, 2012 photo released by China' Xinhua News Agency, villager Jia Xinping, left, stands next to the remains of his house destroyed by hail and torrential rains in Minxian County in northwest China's Gansu Province. The death toll from hail and rain storms in a mountainous area in northwest China has risen to 40. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Nie Jianjiang) NO SALES

BEIJING >> Officials say the death toll from a massive mudslide triggered by heavy rain and hail in a poor mountainous region of northwestern China has risen to 44.

The Civil Affairs Ministry says 26 other people are missing and that power and telecommunications have been disrupted in Minxian, Zhangxian and Weiyuan counties in Gansu province.

The ministry said Sunday that nearly 150,000 people were evacuated and needed emergency assistance as a result of the storm that battered the county on Thursday evening and triggered the mudslide in one of China’s poorest regions.

Relief teams have taken blankets and clothing to the area. The central government says it will provide funds for relief work and rebuilding.

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