China / Society

248,500 short of water in Liaoning drought

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-07-24 17:45

SHENYANG - Hundreds of thousands of people are short of drinking water in northeast China's Liaoning Province as it suffers one of its most severe droughts in history.

Liaoning has seen high temperatures and dry conditions since the start of July, with rainfall at its lowest since records began in 1951.

The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said on Friday that some 248,500 people and 25,700 heads of large farm animals are short of water.

The hot spell has parched over 1.5 million hectares of farmland in the province, with about 127,000 hectares already dried up. A total of 395 rivers and 63 reservoirs are out of water.

The provincial water resources department said local underground water levels and reservoir storage have continued to drop this year from their already low levels after little rainfall last year.

The province has earmarked 135 million yuan (21.7 million U.S. dollars) and mobilized 958,000 people to fight the drought.

It is caused by El Nino, a climactic phenomenon resulting from a warming of the ocean west of Peru. El Nino triggers atmospheric changes that can mean very hot weather in Asia, rain in South America and cooler summers in North America.

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