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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 February 2008, 20:34 GMT
China snowstorms 'to cost $15bn'
Roof of Chinese car showroom that collapsed under the weight of snow
Businesses across the country have been affected
The severe winter weather that has caused chaos in China in recent weeks has cost the economy more than $15bn (7.6bn), says the Chinese government.

Homes, businesses and crops across the country have been damaged by the heavy snowfall, which is the worst China has experienced in five decades.

In addition, electricity and water supplies have been cut and rail services have had to be suspended.

The freak snowstorms have killed at least 107 people across the country.

Continuing repairs

The Chinese civil affairs ministry said in a statement that more than 350,000 homes had been destroyed, along with 24 million hectares (90,000 sq miles) of farm production.

It added that while transport links have now returned to normal, electricity workers were still struggling to repair power supplies in many places.

Insurance companies have already paid out more than $165m, said the state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Millions more claims are now pending.

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