4.97m affected by lingering drought in SW China

Updated: 2013-03-09 16:31


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4.97m affected by lingering drought in SW China

Cows seek for food at a dried reservoir in Shilin county of Southwest China's Yunnan province, in this Feb 27, 2013 file photo. [Photo/Xinhua]

KUNMING - About 4.97 million people in Southwest China's Yunnan province have been affected by a drought that has lingered there since winter, provincial authorities said Saturday.

Over 1.43 million people and 796,000 heads of livestock lack sufficient drinking water, according to the Yunnan Provincial Water Resources Department.

Meanwhile, about 536,200 hectares of farmland have also been affected by the drought, including 55,333 hectares that will yield no crops.

The drought in Yunnan has been persistent and severe, with only 13.4mm of rainfall in the first two months of 2013, about 64 percent less than the annual average for the period.

Due to the lack of precipitation, water is no longer flowing in 134 medium and small rivers in Yunnan, and 138 small reservoirs there have dried up.

The provincial water resources department has allotted 230 million yuan ($37 million) in drought relief funds and sent devices for digging wells and pumping water to alleviate the drinking water shortage.