Millions affected in drought hit China

January 29th, 2011 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 29 (IANS) Millions of people have been affected due to the continuing drought in north China that has caused an economic loss of 1.04 billion yuan ($158 million), a media report said.Xinhua reported that tens of thousands are suffering from water shortages.

Since October, little rain has fallen in several provinces including Shandong, Hebei, Henan, Anhui, Shanxi and Jiangsu.

In north China’s Hebei Province, 370,000 residents are having difficulty getting drinking water while another nine million are affected in other ways, authorities said.

Direct economic losses total 1.04 billion yuan (158 million U.S. dollars), Xinhua said.

Only two mm of rain has fallen in the province since November, which is 80 percent less than normal.

In the wheat-growing province of Shandong, the snow that fell in some areas Friday was too little to improve the situation.

Provincial authorities there raised the drought disaster alert to its highest level Thursday.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, allocated 2.2 billion yuan for farm irrigation and drought-relief equipment and supplies Thursday.

The central government has earmarked 4 billion yuan to ensure drinking water supply and water conservation projects in drought-hit regions.

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