More than 17 million people in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and the neighboring Sichuan Province are tortured by serious lack of adequate drinking water due to continuous droughts and searing heat.
The month-long droughts have affected 14 million people in 40 counties in Chongqing and 6.1 million run out of drinking water.
In Sichuan, the temperature has kept above 38 Celsius degrees during the past month. Last Friday, the temperature in the province's county of Guang'an climbed to 42.8 Celsius degrees.
The Droughts made it difficult for 3.1 million people in Sichuan to get as much drinking water as they need.
Crops on large tracts of farmland have withered up. Many regions have no harvests at all. The droughts caused economic losses of 9.23 billion yuan (about US$1.15 billion) in the two regions.
The local governments have allocated funds to help residents fight against drought by tapping ground water and improving water conservation facilities.
Related departments have been requested to make daily reports of drought situation and drought relief work has already been carried out.
(Xinhua News Agency August 13, 2006)