Severe drought to persist in SW China

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Severe drought will continue to ravage southwest China as no major rainfalls are expected in the next three days, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) warned on Saturday.

Experts with the CMA also urged local governments in provinces of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region to take necessary water-saving measures and to prevent forest fire.

Facing the lingering drought, the CMA on Saturday switched on its level-3 response to meteorological disasters, asking local meteorological departments to closely watch the development of the disaster.

The dry spell has been affecting Yunnan, Guizhou and Guangxi since last autumn.

Described by the Ministry of Civil Affairs as "rarely seen in history" in terms of seriousness, duration, involved areas and losses, the drought has left 7.5 million people and more than 4 million heads of livestock without adequate drinking water in Yunnan and Guizhou.

The CMA urged local governments to use reserve water to ensure the consumption of residents, to adopt water-saving measures in agricultural and industrial production, and to restrict water supply for the service industry.

They also warned of high risks of forest fires.

The CMA has four levels of emergency response for the fight against major meteorological disasters, and level-1 is for the most serious ones.

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