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Over 500,000 short of drinking water in Liaoning
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Drinking water shortages caused by drought are affecting more than 570,000 people in northeast China's Liaoning Province.

The area most affected is in the mountainous western part of Liaoning, one of the country's major grain producers, according to details released by the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters.

The province had a monthly rainfall average of 21.5 mm in the past four months, a drop of 22.1 percent in comparison with the average for the same periods of previous years, said the information.

It had rainfall of only 0.3 mm between Jan.1 and February 24 this year, the smallest figure in 47 years, or 96.5 percent less than the usual seasonal average.

There was no rainfall at all in the province's western, central and northern parts, according to the same source.

Also affected by the dry weather are 206,300 head of livestock .

The drought would also affect maize planting on 1.04 million hectares of farmland, or one quarter of the province's maize growing total, due to lack of moisture in the land, said the source.

(Xinhua News Agency March 3, 2008)

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