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Guangdong: 60% of migrant workers may stay put
Latest Updated at 2008-February-1 08:47:42
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Sixty percent of the migrant workers in the southern province of Guangdong chose to stay there during the Spring Festival rather than return home due to concern over heavy snow, according to local officials on Thursday.

Statistics from the provincial labor and security department show that 11.2 million migrant workers out of a total of 19 million had shown their willingness to stay.

The number grew by 1.3 million during the past three days.

Guangdong is a major destination for migrant workers from other areas. It employs an estimated one-third of China's internal migrant labor.

Migrant workers have been advised to stay in many of the cities and provinces where they work, such as Beijing, Zhejiang and Guangdong, as their holiday journeys were hampered by unusually heavy snow and freezing rain. The weather has wreaked chaos on transport systems and other areas of the economy.

According to the latest reports, in the southwestern Guizhou province, 14 people were killed in snow-related accidents, 42,156 were injured or fell sick and 5.12 million were reportedly experiencing water shortages. In all, 17.9 million people were affected.

Central China's Hunan province, where the thickest snow has reached 150 millimeters, saw 17 people killed, 2.81 million facing water shortages and 33.4 million affected.

Eleven people died in Hubei, mostly crushed by collapsing houses. Another 17,608 people were injured or sickened, and 2.9 million lack drinking water.

Eastern Anhui Province reported eight deaths, 894 cases of illness and 10.8 million people affected.

The Ministry of Finance on Thursday earmarked another 138 million yuan (about 19 million US dollars) for disaster relief, lifting the total relief fund to 431 million yuan (about 60 million US dollars).

Chinese leaders have urged greater efforts to guarantee coal, fuel and power production and supplies as well as grain and fresh farm produce.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website

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