About 1.27 million people living in southwest China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region are suffering from water shortages due to continuous drought, local flood control and drought relief officials said on Sunday.
Statistics showed that 1.27 million people and 849,000 heads of livestock in 49 cities and counties across the region are short of water.
Meanwhile, a total area of 6.4 million mu (about 430,000 hectares) of crops have been affected, with 1.67 million mu (about111,300 hectares) of fields having no water at all to grow rice.
According to the regional flood control and drought relief office, the drought-hit areas were having 46.8 percent less rainfall this July than the same period of normal years.
Water levels at major local rivers and reservoirs are much lower than usual. By late July, major reservoirs with irrigation functions were holding 4.53 billion cubic meters of water, which is 2.4 billion cubic meters less than the same period of last year.
Meteorologists have forecast hot and dry weather for most parts of Guangxi in August, which means the drought is likely to remain or even worsen.
(Xinhua News Agency August 5, 2007)