HEFEI, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Seven more people were found dead after a storm swept east China's Anhui Province over the weekend, bringing the death toll to 15, local authorities said Monday.
The deaths were reported from 24 counties of 11 cities. Most of the victims were killed by collapsed houses and fallen trees, according to an official with the provincial civil affairs department who declined to be identified.
The storm affected 1.23 million people, injuring 181 and forcing the evacuation of 10,400.
It damaged 24,300 hectares of crops, toppled 9,690 houses and cut power supply and communications. It caused direct economic losses of 450 million yuan (about 66 million U.S. dollars).
Gales of up to 29 meters per second and hail struck Anhui from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
It was the second storm to hit the province this month. The first was from June 3 to 5, affecting nearly 4 million people and killing more than 20.
According to forecasts by the provincial meteorological bureau, high winds are likely within the next couple of days.
The civil affairs department issued an urgent notice ordering local governments to be alert to extreme weather so as to respond quickly and minimize losses.