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Latest development of severe drought in southwest China

2010-03-25 09:12 BJT

Special Report: SW China Battles Severe Drought |

BEIJING, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Continuous rain induced by cloud seeding over the past two days has helped ease the drought particularly in east and southeast of Guizhou Province.

But its southern and southeastern parts have received less rainfall, offering little respite to the region plagued by the worst drought in a century.

The province, where 3.1 million people are short of food, has received 55 million yuan (8 million U.S. dollars) worth of donations.

In Guangxi, the disaster has affected 776,670 hectares of crops. In addition, 2.3 million people and 1.2 million head of livestock face a shortage of drinking water.

In the main sugar cane production region of Guangxi, large swathes of the crops have withered and output of white sugar is set to decline this year.

Sixty-seven sugar producers in Guangxi, 34 more than the same period last year, have shut down production.

The China Sugar Association estimated the total white sugar output in China would decline to 11 million tonnes, 9 percent lower than its projection in November.

In the hardest-hit Yunnan, 8.1 million people and 5.4 million face drinking water shortage. The drought has affected 3.1 million hectares of crops, 87 percent of total, and caused direct agricultural economic losses of 17 billion yuan (2.5 billion U.S. dollars).

The drought has been ravaging southwest China for months, affecting 61.3 million residents and 5 million hectares of crops in Guizhou, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, and Guangxi, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said Wednesday.

The drought has left 18 million residents and 11.7 million head of livestock in the region with drinking water shortages and caused direct economic losses of 23.7 billion yuan, the ministry said in a statement.

Editor: Jin Lin | Source: Xinhua