Friday, May 18, 2007

Spring Drought Leaves Millions of Chinese Thirsty

Spring Drought Leaves Millions of Chinese Thirsty

BEIJING, China, May 15, 2007 (ENS) - Drought in provinces across northern China has left 4.8 million people and an equal number of livestock short of drinking water, the state drought relief headquarters said today.

Temperatures are higher than normal for this time of year and rain is scarce, meteorologists said.

Eleven million hectares of crops have been affected by drought in Gansu, Hebei, Henan and Liaoning, as well as other provinces in northeastern, northern and northwestern China, the headquarters told the official state news agency Xinhua.

At least 500,000 people are thirsty in North China's Hebei Province, which completely surrounds the capital city of Beijing. More than 200 small reservoirs have dried up, officials said.


A Chinese woman enjoys a drink of precious water. (Photo courtesy State Environmental Protection Agency)
Beijing, with a permanent population of 15.36 million and more than four million transient residents, has suffered spring drought for the past eight years, and last year experienced its worst drought for 50 years.

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