A serious drought in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is likely to persist all this month because of unseasonably warm temperatures, water resources authorities said on Monday.
Since August, the drought has plagued 78 of the region's 84 counties, including county-level cities, the sources said.
From mid August to early November, rain falls in Guangxi ranged from zero to 156.8 millimeters, 20 to 90 percent below seasonal averages.
Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 6, temperatures averaged 24 degrees Celsius in the region, 2.5 degrees higher than a year earlier.
Water stored at reservoirs dropped to 4.8 billion cubic meters, or 47.99 percent of the reservoirs' combined effective storage capacity.
The regional government has earmarked 10 million yuan (US$1.3 million) for emergency water supplies and for use of oil and electricity against the aridity.
Local meteorologists forecast the drought will continue in November and temperatures will be one degree Celsius or so higher than the same period last year in most areas of Guangxi over the next ten days.
(Xinhua News Agency November 14, 2006)