Drought-relief teams dispatched to Anhui Province

13:53, June 02, 2011      

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The government on Wednesday sent a special work team to east Anhui Province to direct local relief work as the lingering drought, the worst in the past 50 years, continues to plague the Yangtze River's downstream provinces.

A severe drought has impacted nearly 1.03 million people and 1.39 million livestock in Anhui, resulting in direct economic losses of 4.02 billion yuan (620 million U.S. dollars), according to a report jointly issued by the National Commission for Disaster Reduction (NCDR) and the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

The government initiated a fourth-level emergency response plan Wednesday to cope with the drought in the province. The fourth level is the lowest in the country's emergency response system.

The government has already sent three teams to Hubei, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces and allocated 80 million yuan in relief funds.

With the lowest level of rainfall since 1961, the drought has affected both irrigation and water supplies in Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei provinces, in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, China's longest river.

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