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Drought, Extreme Heat Cripple China, Japan, S. Korea

Posted by feww on August 11, 2013

Drought and extreme heat plague many parts of  China, as heat dome hovers over east Asia

Record temperatures, many of them above 40ºC, are seriously affecting people, killing poultry and livestock and destroying crops across east Asia.

china drought disaster aug 2013 -01
Original caption: A farmer shows the dried-up rice fields in Hejia Village of Yongxin County, east China’s Jiangxi Province, Aug. 9, 2013. Lingering drought has caused severe damage to agricultural products, leaving millions of people short of drinking water in many parts of China. (Xinhua/Zhou Ke). More images…

Up to a staggering 10 percent of the population, an estimated 130 million people, have been affected by drought in the south, southwest, central, east and southeast, and by extreme heat in central and eastern China.

Mining for water
Original caption: An excavator is used for seeking water on a riverbed in Shuangfeng County of Loudi City, central China’s Hunan Province, Aug. 8, 2013. Regions in Hunan Province were hit by a severe drought this summer due to lingering high temperatures and lack of rainfall, leaving about 1.5 million people short of drinking water. (Xinhua/Bai Yu). More images …

More than 10 million people and at least as many livestock are short of drinking water, in the worst affected regions including Jiangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Hunan and Zhejiang Provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

mining every last drop of water 3
A villager prepares to pump water from a deep cave in Motou Village of Quanzhou County, Guilin City, south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Aug. 9, 2013. (Xinhua/Lu Bo’an. More images…

drought in Zhejiang Province -  Original caption: Soldiers carry water for local residents in Zhoushan City, east China’s Zhejiang Province, Aug. 11, 2013. A lingering drought has left 417,000 people short of drinking water in the province. The Zhejiang provincial flood control and drought relief headquarters raised the drought emergency response system to level-3 on Sunday. (Xinhua/Xu Yu). More images…

Japan

In western Japan the mercury rose to 40.7ºC causing more heatstroke and heat related illnesses. More than 30,000 people have been hospitalized since May this year, a rise of 10 percent compared with last year.

Weather authorities have issued several alerts, advising people to reduce exposure to the sun and remain well-hydrated.

South Korea

“The entire Korean Peninsula is sweltering with average daily temperature reaching just under 33 degrees in Seoul. The heat has killed tens thousands of chickens and fish, a serious blow to the poultry and fish farming industry,” said a report.

Meantime, the country faces serious power shortages this week as temperatures are forecast to rise pushing up demand for power, while six of the SK’s nuclear plants r4emain off-line.

“If one nuclear reactor stops its operation all of a sudden, we may have to start rolling power blackouts like we did on September 15, 2011,” Energy Minister Yoon Sang-jick told reporters.

SK’s power demand is forecast to peak at about “80,500 megawatts (MW) in the next three days while its power supply capacity is seen at 77,440 MW the energy ministry said in a statement. With all the possible power-saving and supplying measures, the supply surplus could be raised to 1,800 MW but that would still not be enough,” said a report.

The heatwave is forecast to linger in East Asia until at least next week.

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