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Millions Suffer Drinking Water Shortages in S. China
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More than 2.4 million people have been suffering drinking water shortages since late October due to severe drought in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

The average rainfall in Guangxi amounted to 29 millimeters in October, down 65 percent from the previous year. The regional meteorological department said that eight cities and counties in Guangxi had seen no rainfall in the past month and the capital Nanning had been experiencing a serious drought for 37 consecutive days.

High temperatures have also worsened the drought in the autonomous region. The department said the average temperature in Guangxi from October 1 to November 6 was 2.5 degrees centigrade higher than in recent years.

The autonomous region's flood control and drought relief headquarters said the water storage in Guangxi's reservoirs had dropped from eight billion cubic meters after the flood season to the current 4.7 billion. Forty-six reservoirs in Nanning have already dried up.

The autonomous region government has already raised 10 million yuan (about US$ 1.25 million) in disaster relief funds.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2006)

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