The disaster relief office in southwest China's Sichuan Province said Sunday that 2.39 million people and 3.04 million heads of livestock are facing a shortage of drinking water due to drought.
Most parts of Sichuan Basin have reported relative higher temperatures and less precipitation since the beginning of this year, sources with the office said.
According to statistics from the Sichuan meteorological bureau, 53 counties were hit by drought in spring and 113 were hit in summer.
By the end of last month, 61.2 percent of small-scale water works in drought-stricken areas have dried up, resulting in total crop failure on some 120,000 hectares of farmland. Nearly 1.1 million hectares of farmland have been affected.
The provincial government has spent 94.6 million yuan (US$11.8 million) and put equipment to fight the drought, said the sources.
(Xinhua News Agency August 7, 2006)