China / Society

Drought affects half a million in Xinjiang

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-23 19:26

URUMQI -- A prolonged drought in northwest China's Xinjiang has left about 200,000 people in need of emergency aid, including drinking water, said the region's civil affairs department Saturday.

In seven counties of the Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of Ili in northern Xinjiang, more than half a million people and 3.46 million head of livestock have been affected. Some 7,700 cattle have died. Rainfall since May in the Ili valley has been about 50 percent less than in previous years.

Herders are concerned how their livestock will survive the winter due to the destruction of fodder by the drought. Over 287,000 hectares of crops and 22.8 million mu of pastures have suffered, with direct economic losses of 4.3 billion yuan ($700 million).

The Ili government has earmarked 10 million yuan for irrigation, digging wells and transporting drinking water for people and cattle.

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