Anxiety running high in drought zones (3)

14:10, March 25, 2010      

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Southwest drying up

After Premier Wen Jiabao visited Yunnan over the weekend to encourage drought-relief efforts, President Hu Jintao went to the Ningxia Zhuang Autonomous Region from Sunday to Tuesday, urging soldiers stationed in the drought-hit areas to help local residents combat the drought.

The Lanzhou Military Area Command also drilled wells for local residents to pump water.

In response to the severe drought that has seen no sign of abating, the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters and the Ministry of Water Resources have sent 18 expert panels to the southwest to direct drought-relief operations.

In Guiyang, capital of Guizhou, local authorities issued new rules Tuesday to prevent speculators from hiking vegetable prices.

Any individuals found to have raised prices will be fined up to 100,000 yuan and organizations will be slapped with 1-million-yuan fines, the Guizhou City News reported Wednesday.

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