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Beijing says snow storms destroy one tenth of China's forests

Breaking Earth News
: A woman prays at Longhua Temple on Friday Feb. 8, 2008, on the second day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, in Shanghai, China. China's snow crisis wound down just in time for Thursday's Lunar New Year holiday, after a striking and uniquely Chinese display of communist mass mobilization, propaganda and state control. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BEIJING (AFP) - China has lost about one tenth of its forest resources to recent snow storms regarded as the most severe in half a century, state media reported Sunday.

A total of 17.3 million hectares (43 million acres) of forest have been damaged across China as the result of three weeks of savage winter weather, the China Daily website said, citing the State Forestry Administration.

More than half the country's provinces have been affected, and in the worst-hit regions, nearly 90 percent of forests have been destroyed, according to the paper.

As of the end of last month, disastrous winter weather had levied a toll of 16.2 billion yuan (2.2 billion dollars) on China's forestry sector, the report said, citing the most recent data available.

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