At least nine persons were killed and one missing in fresh round of heavy rains in China, taking the death toll in different parts of the country to 173 and those unaccounted to 126 missing since last week. Nine persons were killed and one went missing in heavy rains in southern China this week, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said in a statement today. Strong rain, gales and hail had hit 68 counties in eight provincial-level regions. More than 7,500 people have been displaced and some 6,000 people are in urgent need of basic living assistance, it said. The disasters destroyed 500-plus houses and ruined 1,800 hectares of crops, with direct economic losses estimated at 280 million yuan ($ 42 million), state-run Xinhua news agency reported. In northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, heavy rain, hail and strong gales over the last two days have led to direct economic losses of over 18 million yuan. Also, the civil affairs and finance ministries today allocated 150 million yuan to help people in the flood-hit provinces of Henan and Shanxi through emergency relocation, transitional settlement, reconstruction of damaged houses and compensation for those who have lost loved ones. Heavy rain plagued north China last week, leaving 164 people dead and 125 missing, according to official figures released on Monday. In the hardest hit provinces of Henan and Hebei, 514,000 people have been displaced and nearly 125,000 people are in urgent need of basic living assistance. The city of Anyang in Henan has allocated 200 million yuan, and governments in Shanxi at various levels have sanctioned 28 million yuan in local relief funds. The ministry said that basic living conditions for people in disaster-hit areas in Henan and Shanxi have been ensured, and local production is returning to normal.