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Northwest China facing drought

March 27, 2013 at 2:04 AM

BEIJING, March 27 (UPI) -- Northwest China's Gansu province is in the grips of a weeklong drought that has hit about 4.35 million people and 988,000 acres of farmland, officials said.

The region has not had any precipitation lately and the situation is being complicated by dusty conditions, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Among those affected in 61 counties and districts, about 650,000 people are also facing a shortage of drinking water, the provincial civil affairs department said. The local government has set aside about $4 million to alleviate the drinking water shortage, the report said.

Meteorologists warned the drought could continue until the end of April. They said attempts to induce artificial rain would be made if weather conditions permit.

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