Drought affects 730,000 people in NW China province

Updated: 2007-05-15 08:57

LANZHOU -- A rare lasting drought has affected 730,000 people and about 300,000 hectares of crops in northwest China's Gansu Province, local sources said.

The rainfall from mid-March through April was down 40 to 90 percent over the same period in previous years in Baiyin, Dingxi, Tianshui and Longnan in eastern Gansu, said the regional climate center of Lanzhou, capital of Gansu.

Rainfall was even smaller than the minimum amount in certain areas of the province since 1951, the center said. Most areas in Longdong only had a rainfall of less than eight millimeters during the period.

The severe drought in Gansu has left 238,000 people and 34,000 livestock short of drinking water and resulted in an economic loss of 56 million yuan (7.2 million U.S. dollars).

Higher temperature and little rainfall led to the drought, which would continue as no significant rainfall is forecast in May, it said.

Drought is also afflicting other provinces across China.

More than 190,000 people in central China's Hubei Province are facing water shortage as drought continues to plague some areas of the province.

The drought has also affected 200,000 hectares of farmland and left 93,000 livestock short of drinking water in the province, according to the Hubei provincial flood and drought control authorities.

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