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Millions thirst in Yunnan drought

(Xinhua)

09:02, February 28, 2012

KUNMING, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A drought in Yunnan Province has left 3.19 million people and 1.58 million livestock short of drinking water, the provincial government said Monday.

Some plants had to halt production due to water shortage, costing rough losses of 10 billion yuan (1.6 million U.S. dollars), vice governor Kong Chuizhu said.

Drought and low rainfall in the three consecutive years have dried up 273 rivers and 413 small reservoirs in Yunnan.

The drought also increased fire alert for the province, with more than 2 million mu (133,333 hectares) of forests and 8.2 million mu of corps having been affected, Kong said.

As of last autumn, the central government had allocated a total of 424 million yuan for drought relief in Yunnan. The State Tobacco Monopoly Administration (STMA) has provided 150 million yuan to subsidize local tobacco industry.

The provincial government has invested 1.94 billion yuan for drought relief and mobilized more than 5.4 million people to fight against the drought, Kong said.

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