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Drought worsens in SW China

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-07 16:07

BEIJING - The number of people affected by a fourth consecutive year of severe drought in Southwest China has increased to 1.53 million, the country's drought relief authority said Thursday.

Lingering drought has affected 33.76 million mu (2.25 million hectares) of farmland in Southwest China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

Yunnan was hit the hardest, as drought-affected cropland doubled from the annual average reported in recent years. Sichuan saw 74 percent more drought-hit land over the winter, the office said.

While other parts of the country enjoyed relatively humid weather, areas in Southwest China saw decreased rainfall this winter.

The headquarters has pledged special funds for drought-plagued areas and has dispatched four work teams to Yunnan, Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces.

To counter the arid conditions, local authorities have strengthened their drought relief efforts by building more water diversion projects and sending water tankers to needy regions.

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