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Drought causes water shortage, parches crops in China

(Xinhua)

08:14, April 28, 2012

BEIJING, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Lingering drought has left more than 8.57 million people short of drinking water and huge areas of farmland parched in China, the nation's top drought-relief authority said Friday.

As of Friday, droughts have affected 3.64 million hectares of farmland, mostly in the provinces of Yunnan, Shanxi, Hubei, Sichuan and Gansu, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.

The amount of farmland and number of people affected by the droughts are both below the average figures registered in previous years, said the office.

Since mid-April, arid regions in the south have seen rounds of scattered rainfall, but the rains have been too weak to ease regional droughts, the office said.

The headquarters have sent five work teams to affected regions to assist in drought relief work and the Ministry of Finance channeled 500 million yuan (79.7 million U.S. dollars) to finance the work.

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