Drought plagues parts of China

Updated: 2013-02-21 22:20


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BEIJING - About 600,000 people are facing shortage of drinking water amid severe drought that hit Southwest China's Yunnan province for the fourth straight year, China's drought relief authority said Thursday.

The current drought has affected 5.11 million mu of cropland in the province, said Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei at a drought relief conference on Thursday.

Yunnan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces face the worst drought among the western regions of the country, with a total of 31.67 million mu (2.11 million hectares) of arable land affected, or 53 percent of the total arable land affected by drought across the country.

In Yunnan and Gansu provinces, 750,000 people are short of drinking water due to the drought, or 88 percent of the total affected people in the country, said Chen, who is also deputy head of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters (SFCD).

The SFCD has sent four work teams to drought-hit regions to guide drought relief efforts.