A total of 9.81 million people and 9.19 million heads of livestock in south and southwest China are suffering from drinking water shortages stemming from prolonged drought.
According to the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFCDRH), the early spring drought has affected 1.61 million hectares of crops in the provinces of Hunan, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou as well as Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Chongqing Municipality.
SFCDRH sources said 10 millimeters of rainfall have been recorded in eastern Sichuan, western Chongqing and parts of Guizhou and Hainan since mid-March, but it was not enough precipitation to help ease the drought. No rain was reported in Yunnan at all.
The China Meteorological Administration forecast yesterday that the drought would most likely continue at least until April.
(Xinhua News Agency March 26, 2007)