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Drought Affecting 5 Mln Across China
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As provinces in eastern and southern China try to recover from floods brought on by typhoons, drought is affecting the lives of more than five million people across other parts of the country.


Drought had caused a temporary disruption of drinking water supplies for 1.3 million people in the southwestern province of Guizhou, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.


More than 270,000 hectares of crops and 900,000 domestic animals have also been affected.


In mid-July, rainfall in northern, northeastern and southeastern parts of the province was about 50 to 70 percent less than the average.


47 counties recorded less than 10 millimeters of rain. Water levels in reservoirs were 25 percent lower than normal.


In other parts of the country, more than 20 days of drought and high temperatures since early July have hit southwestern Chongqing Municipality, affecting the lives of 3.5 million people and three million livestock.


83 reservoirs in Chongqing are drying up, stored water measuring 60 to 70 percent less than the average, according to the municipal flood control and drought relief authorities.


Statistics show average rainfall in north China's Shanxi Province was only 65 millimeters in July, about half of previous years' average.


About 730,000 people and more than 600,000 hectares of farmland have been affected by the drought, said the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.


In northwest China's Gansu Province, about 450,000 people are having difficulty getting drinking water.


People in some counties have to travel 50 kilometers to collect drinking water, according to the provincial flood control and drought relief sources.


Desperate local governments have allocated funds to help residents fight the drought by tapping ground water and improving water conservation facilities.


(Xinhua News Agency August 2, 2006)

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