35 million people affected by drought

Updated: 2011-05-28 08:03


Twitter Facebook Myspace Yahoo! Linkedin Mixx

35 million people affected by drought
Firefighters help students get water from a truck on a school playground in Xihe township, Suizhou city, Central China's Hubei province, May 26, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING - A severe drought from April has affected some 34.83 million people in five provinces along the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River as of Friday, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

Among them, about 4.23 million are experiencing difficulty in finding drinking water and 5.06 million are in need of assistance, the ministry said, citing reports from civil affairs departments from the five provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan.

Special coverage:
Severe drought hits Central China

Related readings:
35 million people affected by drought Drought forces fishermen to leave
35 million people affected by drought Measures announced to fight lingering drought
35 million people affected by drought Students suffer water shortage in drought
35 million people affected by drought Lives of fishermen shattered in drought areas
35 million people affected by drought Severe drought drains farmland and fish ponds

The drought, caused by unusually low rainfall and insufficient flow from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River, also led to an direct economic loss of 14.94 billion yuan ($2.29 billion), it said.

The Ministry has warned that the drought poses a serious threat to drinking water supplies for urban residents in affected areas as reservoirs are being drained.

The Ministry, along with the State Disaster Relief Commission, has ordered a series of measures in response to the lingering drought, including allocating a relief fund of 55 million yuan on Thursday to Hubei and Hunan, the two hardest hit provinces.

In east China's Jiangxi Province, thirst of the country's largest freshwater lake, Poyang, was partly quenched after a downpour from May 21 to 23. The lake's surface water area was increased by one-sixth on Friday, according to local authorities.

The surface water area is 1.531 square km, an increase of 205 square km from the record low of 1,326 square km on May 18, according to officials with the provincial meteorological research institute.

However, compared with the normal average rainfall the water area is still quite small, said officials.

Satellite monitoring shows the water area on May 18 was the smallest, only half that of the perennial average, said officials.


Room at the inn

The Chinese hotel industry experiences a building boom, prompting fears of oversupply.

Pearls of wisdom

Chinese pearl farmers dominate the world market but now want to work smarter, not harder

Truly a super woman

Li Yuchun first came to prominence in 2005 as the Super Girl winner, and since then has become an international star.

Suzhou: Heaven on Earth
The sky's the limit
Diving into history