South Korea in worst drought in decades

June 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM

SEOUL, June 23 (UPI) -- South Korea announced Saturday it is dispatching workers, emergency equipment and relief funds to counteract the worst drought the country has seen in decades.

The Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries sent out 1,413 workers and 810 pieces of equipment including water pumps to the worst-hit areas of the country including Gyeonggi, South Chungcheong and South Jeolla, Yonhap News Agency reported.

About $39.3 million in relief funds has been sent to the areas to help reduce the impact of the water shortages, particularly in farming communities.

From May onwards, the country has received about 38 percent of its average rainfall, leading to a drop in the country's reservoirs. Water levels have fallen to about 45 percent of capacity, down from a normal 55 percent for this time of year, the news agency said.

Government officials are concerned the water shortages will lead to poor farm products, which could in turn cause consumer prices to skyrocket.

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