The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China and neighboring northeastern provinces are sustaining the severest drought since New China was founded in 1949, according to China Meteorological Administration.
The drought has been lingering over Inner Mongolia, Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang since this spring, and is intensifying and spreading, according to the latest report by the National Climate Center under the administration.
This was an extreme weather smaller in scale but severer in intensity to one that hit north China in 1965, and was one of the severest droughts in the past 100 years, said Zhang Qiang, director of the center's Climate Evaluation Office.
The 1965 drought stroke most parts of north China including Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shanxi, Beijing and the three northeastern provinces, said Zhang.
The center forecast that in the next 10 days, most northern regions may have showers or thundershowers, which would help relieve the drought. However, the situation in Inner Mongolia and northeastern provinces would not improve much as the rainfall quantity will be less than 20 millimeters.
The forecast also warned that the coastal areas in Guangdong, Fujian and Zhejiang provinces in the southern part of the country would be hit by possible drought in the next 10 days due to lack of rain.
(Xinhua News Agency June 17, 2004)