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Lingering drought hits S China provinces
Updated: 2009-10-18 21:42

GUANGZHOU: Continuous severe drought over the past months has stunted rice crop, threatened reserviors and left hundreds of thousands of people short of drinking water in southern Chinese provinces.

In the southern Guangdong Province, where the precipitation in the first 10 months this year has reported a 14 percent drop compared with the average level of the past years, more than 55,000 hectares of cropland are affected and 50,000 people are facing difficulties in getting drinking water because of the drought.

Water level in Guangdong's reservoirs continued to drop. According to Guangdong Provincial Flooding and Drought Relief Headquarters, the water conservancy in Guangdong's 32 key reservoirs has reported a year-on-year decrease of 2.34 billion cubic meters.

The drought is continuing to take a toll on agricultural production in the province.

"I have never seen such a severe drought in my life," said a 73-year-old farmer in Zhoutian Township, Shaoguan City. "A great deal of crops have been damaged."

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There have also been concerns of further crop damage as drought harms crop's ability to weather the winter.

In Nan'ao Island in Shantou City, home to more than 70,000 people, the drought has brought inconveniences to local residents' daily bath and laundry.

The drought has left more than 70,000 people in Zhangzhou City in the southeastern Fujian Province short of drinking water.

Local hydraulic experts attribute the water shortage to the lingering drought as well as the water conservancy facilities' construction which lagged far behind the industrialization and urbanization.