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Droughts affect 1.15 mln central Chinese


19:02, July 25, 2013

CHANGSHA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- Lingering droughts have spread in central China's Hunan Province and its neighboring Guizhou Province, leaving over 1.15 million people short of drinking water, said government authorities.

A drought that has already lasted several weeks is continuing to linger in Hunan, leaving 533,000 people short of drinking water, the provincial drought relief headquarters of Hunan said on Thursday.

Over 100 counties in 14 cities and prefectures in the province have been affected by the drought. About 6 million mu (400,000 hectares) of crops have also been affected and 311,000 heads of livestock lack adequate amounts of drinking water, according to the headquarters.

The extreme weather has also caused 186 rivers and 252 reservoirs to dry up.

The province has sent 2.5 million people and 13,000 water tankers to irrigate croplands and provide water for 365,000 people, the headquarters said.

The drought is expected to continue as the province continues to experience high temperatures but little precipitation, according to the local meteorological department.

In Guizhou Province, drought conditions have emerged quickly in the severe dry weather since mid June, leaving over 70 counties in the province damaged by the climate.

As of Thursday, about 619,900 people and 125,300 heads of livestock in Guizhou lack adequate drinking water.

The lingering drought has hit 264,600 hectares of farmland, and it has been confirmed that 33,300 hectares will bear no harvest.

The droughts plaguing parts of Guizhou, Hunan and Hubei provinces are expected to continue, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said on Wednesday.

Since the start of July, the amount of precipitation in those areas has been down dramatically from that recorded during the same period of last year.

In the coming days, droughts are likely to continue in those regions as high temperatures and little precipitation persist, said the headquarters.

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