China is facing its worst drought in a decade, with water in parts of the Yangtze River at the lowest level in 142 years, state media has reported.
Millions of people were short of water, and dozens of ships had run aground in the river since October, reports said.
Officials said low water levels in the Yangtze were not linked to construction of the massive Three Gorges Dam.
China faces droughts and floods annually but has seen a recent increase in extreme weather conditions. In the major Yangtze port city of Hankou, water levels fell to 13.98m (46ft) in early January - the lowest level since records began in 1866, China Daily said, citing local media "This year's drought is rare," the daily quoted a local farmer as saying.
"Just days ago, I saw ship after ship running aground. I have never seen that before." More>>>