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Drought Afflicts 200,000 in Hainan
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At least 200,000 people, about 2.5 percent of the population in south China's Hainan Province, are suffering drinking water shortages caused by persistent drought.

Almost 100,000 hectares of crops are affected by the drought and more than 50,000 livestock have insufficient drinking water, said an official with the provincial drought control office.

Some 1,636 wells in 668 villages and 448 out of Hainan's 2,487 reservoirs have dried up.

Water reserves in the province are dangerously low. The province's water conservation facilities are holding 2.1 billion cubic meters of water, only 30 percent of the normal amount.

Prolonged high temperature and a lack of rain have been blamed for the drought.

Average monthly rainfall since January is 115 millimeters, 35 millimeters down on the provincial average.

Local governments have allocated more than 40 million yuan (US$5.1million) to drought relief work and nearly 400,000 people have been mobilized for digging wells and other jobs to alleviate the situation.

(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2007)

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