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Drought Grips Northern China, Ruining Crops
   2014-08-10 19:40:36    CCTV.com      Web Editor: Jiang

Photo taken on Aug. 4, 2014 shows withered oil sunflowers in Shangzhuang village of Jiaocun Town in Lingbao, central China's Henan Province. Henan Province has suffered from meteorological drought since flood season. [Photo: Xinhua]

Prolonged drought has ravaged farmland and caused drinking water shortages for at least 100,000 people in north China's Hebei Province and northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Many hectares of crops have failed in Hebei Province's Nianzigou Village.

"There has not been a penetrating rain since the spring. Even if it rains, it lasted for three or five minutes, with little precipitation. All the 35.7 hectares of crops have yielded nothing," said village Party secretary Gao Hai.

It was learned that the average precipitation in the city of Baoding, Hebei Province, is only 157.6mm since the flood season set in, nearly 50 percent less than in the same period of a normal year, leading to crop failure on large tracts of land.

"Drought has stricken the 84,000 hectares of crops in our city, with more than 33,000 hectares most seriously and at least 6,000 hectares ruined completely," said Zhang Xiaolan, deputy director of the Office of Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters in Baoding.

The drought has affected 830,000 hectares of crops in Hebei Province, mostly in the mountainous areas of Baoding, Shijiazhuang and Chengde.

More than 80,000 people are facing drinking water shortages in the province. In Nianzigou Village, 52 of the 56 big wells have dried-up. Villagers are forced to fetch water from places three or four kilometers away from their homes.

"Look at this well. It used to supply water to more than 40 households. It began to dry from May and there is not a drop of water left now," said a Nianzigou Village resident, pointing at a dry well.

"There are four wells being dug in Yixian County. We plan to drill 50 more. We are raising funds for digging more wells so as to alleviate the drought," said Zhang Xiaolan.

Water authorities have dispatched workers to mountainous areas to help seek alternative water sources.

Authorities have also tried cloud seeding to ease the drought.

Severe drought has persisted for nearly a month in Liaoning Province, with the Huludao City the worst hit. More than 45,000 residents in the city have found it difficult to obtain drinking water.

The drought in the town of Gangyaoling has lasted for nearly two months. All the wells have dried up. The government of the town has rented two vehicles to deliver 30 tons of water to the town.

"(all the well) have dried up. There is not a drop of water in the village if not for this vehicles," said a resident of the township's Songyan Village.

The local government said it has earmarked funds for all the villages to dig wells and seek other water sources.

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