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220,000 people lack drinking water in Guangxi

(Xinhua)

10:22, May 04, 2012

NANNING, May 4 (Xinhua) -- Low rainfall and high temperatures have left 229,000 people short of drinking water in a drought-stricken city in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region as of Thursday, local officials have warned.

Among those people, 27,250, including 3,398 teachers and students, are having to rely solely on delivered water in the city of Baise in northern Guangxi, said Wan Zhaolong, deputy chief of the city's drought relief office.

In addition, 105,193 heads of livestock have been deprived of drinking water in Baise. The drought has also withered 523,000 mu (34,867 hectares) of crops, Wan said.

Rainfall in April and early May in most parts of Baise was less than half of the normal level for the period, while temperatures were very high, reaching 40 degrees Celsius on April 24 in parts of the city, according to official statistics.

As a result, 46 reservoirs in the city have been dried up as of Thursday, Wan said.

Baise has allocated 12.3 million yuan (1.9 million U.S. dollars) and 232,400 people to combating the drought as of May 1, according to the official.

The drought in Baise is getting more serious, and a growing number of people are relying on delivered water. The risk of forest fire is also high, although the drought may mitigate in late May as Baise enters its rainy season, Wan said.

The dry and hot weather has also affected Guangxi's neighboring province, Guizhou, where 10 counties and cities, mainly in the southwest and north, are in serious drought. The exact number of affected people is yet to be calculated, according to the Guizhou provincial meteorological center.

Doused eastern China stands in sharp contrast to the drought-hit south. In Fujian province, heavy rain has caused floods and landslides and 22,400 people have had to be relocated as of Wednesday.

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