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East China City Hit by Severe Drought

Huangshan City of Anhui Province in east China is facing its worst drought in 25 years this summer with more than 80,000 people sustaining short supply of drinking water, the provincial drought relief and flood control headquarters said Wednesday.

The city is named after Huangshan Mountain, a famous tourist destination in southern Anhui.


Since June 30, more than 500 small rivers in the city have dried and over 80,000 local people are finding difficulty in getting enough drinking water, while some 43,333 hectares of cropland have been affected by the drought, accounting for 89 percent of the entire cropland of the city.


The headquarters attributed the disastrous situation partly to the consistent heat spell, which sent the temperature up to as high as 41.3 degrees Celsius, the highest in local history.


Scant rainfall is also a major reason as statistics show that since June 30, there has been only 33.8 mm of rainfall in the city, 81.7 percent lower than the average level for the same period in previous years and the lowest since 1978.


The drought is expected to worsen as information from the local weather station shows that the high temperature and scarce rainfall will continue for the first half of August.


(Xinhua News Agency August 6, 2003)

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