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Severe drought affects 200,000 people, causes livestock deaths in
N. China
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19:56, July 06, 2007

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The most severe drought in half a century has left more than 200,000 people short of drinking water and caused deaths of 170,000 livestock in north China's Inner Mongolia, local government sources said on Friday.

In Tongliao city, eastern Inner Mongolia, which has had more than 100 days of drought, about 160,000 livestock have died from hunger because dry grasslands cannot provide enough food for them, according to the autonomous region's civil affairs bureau.

The drought has also caused drinking water shortages for 115,000 people and 810,000 livestock in the area.

The average temperature since April in Tongliao was 4.7 degrees Celsius higher than in previous years while rainfall was down more than 50 percent, the local meteorological station said.

The drought also hit other eastern areas of the region, such as Chifeng city, Xilin Gol and Hinggan.

"More than 300 of my sheep and 32 of my cattle have died from hunger, a loss for me of nearly 60,000 yuan (7,900 U.S. dollars)," said Bao Tegan, a herdsman in Horqin Right Wing Front Banner, Xinggan League.

The herdsman said he currently has to buy feed from other areas for his 1,600 sheep and 80 cattle as all his feed storage for winter has run out.

In the pasturing area where Bao Tegan lives, 370,000 hectares of grasslands have been affected by the drought.

Kang Ling, deputy director of the regional meteorological station, said the drought-plagued region may have windy and showery weather in the next few days.

Source: Xinhua

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