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Persistent drought in SW China affects over 1.4 million people

(Xinhua)

10:36, February 10, 2012

KUNMING, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The continuous drought in southwest Yunnan province has affected more than 1.44 million people, and the dry weather will persist through the first half of February, local authorities said Thursday.

The severe drought has left more than 1.44 million people and 827,000 cattle short of drinking water, and 2.35 million mu of crops have also been affected, said the province's flood control and drought relief headquarters.

According to the provincial meteorological observatory, the eastern and northwestern parts of Yunnan will receive some precipitation during the first half of February, while the dry weather will endure for the rest of the province.

The central government has tapped a special 130-million-yuan (20.6 million U.S. dollars) fund to combat the drought, and the provincial government has been encouraging the residents to restrict water usage.

Yunnan is suffering from its lowest amount of rainfall since 2009.

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