China: Drought curbs water for millions

March 15, 2013 at 6:19 PM

BEIJING, March 15 (UPI) -- Droughts in China's southwestern Guizhou Province and northwestern Gansu Province have left more than a million people facing water shortages, officials say.

In the worst-hit areas, rainfall has been 60 percent lower than the same period of previous years, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday.

In Guizhou the drought has affected 417,800 people, 131,700 livestock and 170,000 acres of crops, leaving many people critically short of water, the provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters said.

In Gansu, 47 counties and districts across the province have been hit by the drought, which has affected 3.123 million people, the provincial civil affairs bureau said.

More than 600,000 people in the province face a drinking water shortage, it said.

Some rain and snowfall forecast for the weekend could help ease the drought, which began last fall, the Gansu Meteorological Bureau said.

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