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Drought leaves 840,000 people short of water in NE China
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08:48, April 19, 2008

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A prolonged drought in northeast China’s Liaoning Province has left 840,000 people short of drinking water and affected spring farming in many areas.

The provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said on Friday that the drought had also caused drinking water shortages for 290,000 head of livestock and dried up 74 reservoirs.

From January to mid-April, the province only had an average rainfall of 20 millimeters, a year-on-year decrease of 73 percent. The worst-hit areas were the northwest and cities like Shenyang, the provincial capital, and Dalian. The drought also affected 1.3 million hectares of cropland.

In Chaoyang City, 37 out of 61 large rivers have run dry and water tables have fallen by three to 10 meters from normal years.

The headquarters said 140,000 people had been mobilized to fight the drought by digging more wells and building pumping facilities, and it warned that dry, windy and hot weather would continue in the coming days.

The drought has also hit Jilin and Heilongjiang, which, together with Liaoning, form China's major grain production bases in the northeastern part.

In Jilin, drought has affected nearly 2 million ha of farming land, accounting for 44 percent of the planned planting area in the province.

Twenty counties and cities in central Jilin have dug 708 new wells.

The provincial meteorological observatory said the province had an average of 65 mm of precipitation since October, 21 percent less than normal years.

Source: Xinhua

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