BEIJING, April 11 (Xinhua) -- Natural disasters caused fewer losses in China in the first quarter of this year, with the death toll, missing population and number of damaged houses dropping significantly, official data showed.
During the January-March period, around 5.05 million people nationwide were affected by various natural disasters, with 42 killed or missing, and more than 133,000 houses damaged, said the Ministry of Emergency Management.
The death toll and missing population decreased by 24 percent from the same period in the past five years.
Meanwhile, the direct economic losses stood at 5.87 billion yuan (about 834 million U.S. dollars), down 40 percent from the same period in the past five years, the data showed.
China was mainly hit by forest fires, hailstorms, low temperatures and snow disasters in the period, while floods, droughts and earthquakes occurred to various extents.