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Beijing Faces Drought, Again
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Beijing is again facing drought despite two months of rainfall, and the situation is expected to get worse, Beijing Meteorological Bureau said yesterday.

After a survey of the latest satellite photos, the bureau said drought had returned to 44 per cent of the municipality, and the meteorologists say south-eastern Fangshan District and part of Daxing District are already experiencing serious drought.

"The parched capital had largely escaped the worst drought in 50 years that has hit some areas," meteorologist Tang Guang said.

"However, it returned immediately to drought conditions as rainfall over the past month is down by 80 per cent from the same period last year.

"Artificial rainfall facilities have been fully prepared and once there is natural rainfall, artificial rainfall will also be induced to generate extra water for the capital."

By mid-May, 70 percent of Beijing municipality was suffering from moderate drought, bureau figures showed, and 6 percent were hit by severe drought.

But frequent rainfall from June to August totalled 362.9 millimetres, about the same as for the corresponding period for the last 10 years.

"The rainfall brought relief to 96 per cent of Beijing, leaving 3 per cent with light drought. The remaining even had too much water and became waterlogged," Tang said.

Merely 50 to 90 millimetres of rain is forecast from September to November, less than the previous year, the bureau said.

(China Daily September 14, 2006)

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