Severe Drought Destroys Crops in Yunnan
   2012-02-19 21:32:57      Web Editor: Jiang

Wang Desheng, a local farmer, shows the dried-up wheat at Xiaoji Village of Luliang County in Qujing City, southwest China's Yunnan Province, Feb. 17, 2012. [Photo: Xinhua]

A severe drought has damaged 135,800 hectares of crops and destroyed another 21,600 hectares in southwest China's Yunnan province, causing direct economic losses of more than 600 million yuan, local web portal reports.

Average rainfall in the province from December to the beginning of February, which stands at 31.99mm, is less than half that of the same period last year. To make matters worse, the scarce rainfall was also unevenly distributed in the province.

The situation is further exacerbated by decreased water flow in nearby rivers which is a direct result of three consecutive years of heavy drought.

Rainfall in the first half of February was less than 20 percent of the average in recent historical records. According to the report, the drought is expected to worsen and expand throughout the province.

Xinhua news agency reported on Friday that around 6.31 million people in 91 counties in the province have been affected by the drought, leaving 2.42 million people and 1.55 million livestock short of sufficient drinking water.

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