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Guangdong Embattled by Prolonged Drought
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South China's Guangdong Province has been suffering the effects of a drought for the last three months. The provincial meteorological bureau said on Tuesday that the drought might take a turn for the worse.

The bureau said that from October 2005 to January 10, 2006, there was less than 40 mm of rainfall in most parts of the province, apart from the northwest and southwest.

Rainfall in 16 cities and counties was under ten mm.

Rainfall in many areas of Guangdong was 60 percent lower than during the same period in previous years.

The bureau said the drought was extremely severe in the northern and central areas, creating a drinking water shortage for at least 174,000 people and affecting 14,000 hectares of crops.

Incidents of fire have also increased as a result of the drought, with reports of 103 mountain fires in December 2005.

Although light rain fell in many parts of the province in January, it was too little to have had any impact on the situation, the bureau added.

(Xinhua News Agency January 18, 2006)

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