South China provinces complete early-rice planting amid lingering drought

10:28, June 05, 2011      

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Farmers transplant rice seedlings in the fields of Nanhu village of Xiaogan City, central China's Hubei Province on June 4, 2011. The city, which has suffered a drought for months, witnessed a light rain on Saturday, and the local farmers seized the opportunity to transplant rice seedlings. (Xinhua/Du Huaju)

A total of 56.95 million mu of the country's farmland (about 3.8 million hectares) was affected by drought, the country's top drought relief authority said Friday.

Even so, early-season rice planting of 58 million mu was almost completed in five south China provinces, it added.

The Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFDH) said amount of drought-stricken farmland had increased by 7.18 million mu from the end of May in the provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan.

The five provinces had mobilized over 9.69 million people to fight the drought, said the SFDH Office.

The Three Gorges Dam has also been releasing more water to solve water shortage problems downstream, it said.

Shu Qingpeng, deputy head of the SFDH Office, said the dam is currently discharging water at a rate of 12,500 cubic meters per second.

The Three Gorges Dam has discharged 4.86 billion cubic meters of water since May this year, said Shu.

Source: Xinhua

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