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Drought Leaves 8.68 Mln People Short of Water
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The number of Chinese without drinking water has risen by 320,000 in the past three days to 8.68 million as drought tightened its grip on the country's northeastern regions.

The drought had affected 11.07 million hectares of arable land -- including 9.2 million hectares of crops -- and 7.6 million head of livestock, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Monday.

In northeast China's Liaoning, 2.05 million hectares, or 49 percent, of the province's crops are suffering drought, while 2.67 million hectares of crops are affected in Jilin, 66.5 percent of the province's total.

In Inner Mongolia, 870,000 people, 1.48 million head of livestock and 460,000 square kilometers of pasture are suffering water shortages.

Recent rainfalls have relieved the drought in most parts of west China and the Yellow and Huaihe river valleys, said Zhang Zhitong, an official with the headquarters.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2007)

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