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China’s Drought Turning Critical

Posted by feww on May 30, 2011

Drought: Turning up the heat in E China

No rain for East China anytime soon: Forecasters

Drought is wreaking havoc across Central, South and East China. Many of the vast regions lakes, stricken by the worst drought in living memory, have dried up affecting tens of millions of people and millions of their livestock. There’s no prospect for early rain, forecasters say.

The drought that has affected 35 million people across 5 provinces in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, according to the country’s Meteorological officials.

“Among them, about 4.23 million are experiencing difficulties in finding drinking water and 5.06 million are in need of assistance,” said a report.

China Drought Monitor – Worsening Drought Conditions (January 10, 2011)


Source: Division of Climate Impact Assessment/NCC/CMA

“Since early January, precipitation in Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei and Hunan provinces has been about 40 percent to 60 percent less than the same period last year, causing a 60-day drought, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.”

“China’s two largest fresh water lakes – Dongting Lake in Hunan and Poyang Lake in Jiangxi – are both drying up dramatically and, by Friday, 34.83 million people had been affected in the five provinces, the ministry said, citing reports from local civil affairs departments.” The report added.

The drought has affected about 4 million hectares (10 million acres) of crops, pushing up the vegetable prices by  “19 percent from May 23 to May 27,” according to the Baishazhou Market in Wuhan, capital of drought-hit Hubei in Central China.” The report added. 

Once A Lake!


Dried lake near Shijiao town of Qingyuan City, south China’s Guangdong Province.  (Xinhua/Li Zuomiao). Image may be subject to copyright.

The central government has ordered the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River to discharge more water to help irrigate some of the drought stricken croplands downstream; however, the  dam will run out of water if there is no rainfall before June 10, the Three Gorges Corporation has told China Daily.

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