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Drought Hits Central China, 190,000 People Short of Water
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More than 190,000 people in central China's Hubei Province are facing water shortages as drought continues to plague some areas of the province.


More than 3 million mu (200,000 hectares) of farmland have been affected by the drought, which has also left 93,000 livestock short of drinking water, according to the Hubei provincial flood and drought control authorities.


The local government has dispatched about 400,000 people and tens of thousands of pieces of irrigation equipment to combat the disaster which has afflicted 22 counties and cities of the province.


Precipitation has declined 30 to 60 percent of normal levels in most parts of Hubei since April, local authorities said.


In Shiyan 50 streams and 1,520 ponds have dried up, and 2,300 water cellars and 16 small reservoirs are nearly dry. Wheat output is expected to be reduced by 8.75 million kg this year.


(Xinhua News Agency May 15, 2007)

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