Drought continues to ravage SW China

Updated: 2010-02-21 09:16
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BEIJING: A total of 53.36 million Mu (about 3.56 million hectares) of crops in China had been affected by severe drought by Saturday, said the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

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The drought, mostly in China's southwestern provinces including Yunnan and Guizhou, had damaged crops and caused water shortage to both people and livestock.

In Yunnan, the worst drought-stricken province, up to 31.48 million Mu of crops had been affected, with 11.53 million Mu seriously damaged and 6.16 million Mu destroyed. About 5.97 million people and 3.59 million livestock are suffering from water shortage.

The drought had also started to affect China's northern regions, as several northern provinces had not seen rainfall for nearly 40 days with signs of drought showing up in farmlands.

The Office urged authorities in drought-hit areas to step up efforts in fighting drought and ensure water supply for people and agricultural uses.

It would also seek financial support from the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance to ensure water supply and improve irrigation facilities for the drought-stricken population, said the Office.

About 640 million yuan ($93.7 million) had been allocated with 8.95 million people and 150,000 water trucks mobilized to fight the drought as of Saturday, watering 8.14 million Mu of crops and providing temporary water supply to 6.76 million people and 3.33 million livestock, data from the Office showed.