GUIYANG, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Hailstorms have battered parts of southwest China's Guizhou province in the past few days, affecting the livelihood of almost 120,000 rural residents, local authorities said Friday.
Storms have forced the rural province to be evacuated of 7,893 people, a spokesman with the Guizhou Provincial Department of Civil Affairs said.
The hailstones, as large as 5 cm in diameter, destroyed about 4,500 hectares of crops and damaged more than 2,800 houses, the spokesman added.
Power supplies and telecommunications networks have also been disrupted, he said.
Local authorities have earmarked special funds for disaster relief and dispatched teams to oversee the relief operation in those areas, according to the spokesman.
Weather forecasts said thunderstorms would continue to hit those areas Saturday.