BEIJING, March 26 (UPI) -- The drought in South China has become so severe that wells have dried up, leaving 18 million people without drinking water, officials say.
In one village, Xiazha in Guangxi province, records show the three wells have been reliable since at least the early 16th century, The Daily Telegraph reports. Now, all are dry.
"I'm 83 years old, I've never seen anything like this," said Yang Kuanren, a resident of the village. "Not a single drop of water can be seen in our wells. For hundreds of years, we have relied on those wells for irrigation and drinking water and we do not know what to do. It is time to start planting the fields, but the earth is so dry we cannot even plough it."
Some villages in the region have tried digging new wells. But even those sunk hundreds of feet are coming up dry.
In Yunnan, at least 5,000 villagers have left their homes and moved into temporary camps in the Himalayan foothills, taking advantage of the flowing streams there.
The government has also sent thousands of water trucks to the region and mobilized the army to deliver more than 1 million tons of food.