JINAN, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Three people were dead and two more missing after a sandstorm that swept east China's Shandong Province Monday, the provincial civil affairs bureau said Wednesday.
Two women both aged 55 were killed when a boat overturned in the fierce sandstorm in Juxian County. Two men fell into the water in the same accident, and were still missing Wednesday, the bureau said in a statement.
In a separate accident, a villager in Ningyang County was blown into a river by the sandstorm, and was drowned.
The bureau had received reports showing 1.5 million people had suffered property losses in the freak sandstorm, which turned the sky dark on its arrival in the province Monday afternoon.
The statement said at least 4,000 homes collapsed and thousands of vegetable greenhouses were damaged in the province, known as China's major vegetable and fruit production base.
The bureau has sent work groups to investigate the disaster and help with the relief work.
The same sandstorm caused four deaths in northwest China's Gansu Province and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, before moving to Shandong.