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Shaanxi Reels from Drought
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More than 831,400 hectares of farmland in Shaanxi Province in northwest China, have been hit by a serious drought.


The area makes up one-third of total farmlands in the province. Crops in some parts have already perished.


A water shortage is affecting 80,600 people and 26,300 livestock, according to the Shaanxi anti-drought office. The water levels of major rivers have continued to fall, while some have run dry, the office said.


Hou Simei, a farmer in Xinzhai Village in Lantian County, said the drought had killed most of the wheat crop, and potable water was running short.


"The last time we faced such a situation was more than 10 years ago," Hou said.


According to the Shaanxi provincial bureau of meteorology, precipitation since last month has been 70 to 90 percent less than usual in most parts of the province, and the topsoil relative humidity less than 60 percent.


"Though there was some rain early this month, the drought is still serious in most parts of the province," said Jiang Nianchong, a senior engineer of the Shaanxi Provincial Meteorological Station.


The provincial bureau of water resources has urged all water conservancy departments to make more efforts in the distribution of water to villages.


(China Daily May 11, 2007)

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