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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Severe drought batters central China

Oppressive heat in Central China continues to feed drought conditions in the region. The provinces of Hunan, Guizhou and Hubei are taking the brunt of the emergency, with well over a million people being left without adequate drinking water. As of Saturday 186 rivers and 252 reservoirs have completely dried up.

Agriculture has also been affected adversely, with widespread crop-failures and dying livestock a lingering probability if conditions do not improve soon; in one area it is already estimated that 33,300 hectares will bear no harvest this season. While the burden is being felt immediately in China, a sustained drought in this region could eventually impact the entire global food chain.

Chinese officials have been pouring resources of manpower, water, and materials into the region, with varying results. The crisis, which began in mid-June, is not expected to abate for - at minimum - the next few months.

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