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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 reported yesterday.


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


"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 percent 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 was hit by severe water shortages. .


But frequent rainfall from June to August totaled 362.9 millimeters which is about the same as for the corresponding period for the last 10 years.


"The rainfall brought relief to 96 percent of Beijing leaving 3 percent with light drought,” Tang said. “The remainder had too much water and became waterlogged." 


There’s just 50 to 90 millimeters of rain forecast from September to November which is less than the previous year, the bureau said.


(China Daily September 14, 2006)

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