China declares emergency in drought regions

February 6th, 2009 - 12:03 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Feb 5 (DPA) Chinese officials Thursday declared a state of emergency in several regions affected by a severe drought in northern China.About four million people in eight provinces did not have sufficient water supplies, state media said, quoting the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief.

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao ordered all-out efforts to combat the drought, with the central government earmarking an additional 300 million yuan (about $44 million) in relief funds to top up the 100 million yuan already allocated.

The drought was endangering almost 50 percent of the winter grain harvests in the affected regions. About 1.85 million livestock were also suffering.

The situation was unlikely to improve as meteorologists predicted the dry spell, which began in November, to continue for the next 10 days.

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