Drought eased off in southwest China this month while people went thirsty in the north, said sources with the China Meteorological Administration yesterday.
Rainfall has relieved widespread, prolonged drought in southwest China's Sichuan, Chongqing, Yunnan and Guizhou, but water shortages remain in some areas following last year's severe drought.
In most parts of north China, monthly precipitation was no more than 10 millimeters, 30 to 80 percent less than the same period of last year.
Drought is affecting an area of 1.35 million hectares in north China's Hebei Province, where 500,000 people are having to cope with drinking water shortages.
More than 200 small reservoirs and 50,000 motor-pumped wells have run dry in the province.
In Shangdong, 187,000 hectares of farmland are suffering from drought.
(Xinhua News Agency April 30, 2007)