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Drought cripples Yunnan and Guangxi

By : CCTV|Updated: 2010-02-06

The worst drought in 60 years has continued to scorch southwestern China. The region's meteorological center has issued its highest alert for severe drought.

Households in Ludian County, Yunnan Province, have suffered severe water shortage for the past two months. Fire engines have been dispatched to deliver water to local families.

Hu Chaozhu, farmer of Ludian County, said, "This water has been supplied by the government from more than 30 kilometers away. We only use it for cooking and drinking and cherish it very much. For washing, we prefer to go to counties several kilometers from here."

Local authorities in the Chuxiong Yi Autonomous Prefecture are exploring new ways to tap into ground water.

Feng Weiling, Vice Bureau Head of Chuxiong Water Management, said, "We plan to dig more than 700 wells to make ends meet. But we'll only start digging after other sources have been depleted."

In the neighboring Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, some areas have had little rainfall and relatively high temperatures since last July. Local authorities have stepped up construction of irrigation and water supply facilities to boost water supplies.

The drought has affected nearly 1.2 million hectares of crops in Yunnan and Guangxi, causing the agriculture sector to lose an estimated 3.6 billion yuan. Meteorologists have warned the situation may continue to worsen, with no considerable rainfall forecast in the coming week.

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