Drought causes economic loss of 952 mln USD in Yunnan Province

10:50, February 08, 2010      

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The worst drought in 60 years has inflicted a direct agricultural economic loss of 6.5 billion yuan (952 million U.S. dollars) in southwest China's Yunnan Province, a local official said Sunday.

The province has earmarked 389 million yuan (57 million U.S. dollars) for drought relief, said Zhou Yunlong, head of the provincial water resources bureau.

The efforts have helped temporarily ease drinking water shortage for 4.25 million people and 2.42 million large livestock, and irrigate 733,333 hectares of crops, Zhou said.

The drought from last July had left 4.9 million residents and 3.34 million large livestock with drinking water shortages.

It also had affected more than 2 million hectares of crops, or 81.7 percent of the total, with 534,600 hectares being destroyed. The province will suffer a drop of more than 40 percent in its summer grain output.

The severe drought has forced residents to replant 135,333 hectares of potato, corn, pulses and vegetables. It also caused six times more forest fires and a 50 percent drop in hydropower generation.

Yunnan's rainfall since last July was 29 percent, a record low, or 207 mm lower than the average, whereas the temperature was 1.7 degrees higher than the average and even went beyond the highest level since weather record was kept.

There will be no substantial rainfall in the short term, the Yunnan provincial meteorological bureau said. It added that the drought won't be alleviated until the raining season starts in May.

Source: Xinhua
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