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October 27, 2009

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Water shortage hits as Jiangxi drought lingers

NEARLY 420,000 people in east China's Jiangxi Province were facing drinking water shortages as a drought continued, local drought relief authorities said yesterday.

The province's flood control and drought relief headquarters said 417,000 people in Jiujiang, Yichun, Ji'an and other places were facing water shortages. It added the falling water level in the Ganjiang River threatened water supplies to a few other cities and caused shipping congestion in the waterway.

The headquarters attributed the drought that began in late August to high temperatures and lack of rain.

The average temperature for September was 2.5 degrees Celsius above average, equaling the record high of 26.7 degrees set in 1963. The rainfall so far this month was only 6 millimeters, 90 percent less than normal.

Water levels in rivers and reservoirs were declining. Nine rivers in the province recorded the lowest-ever water levels, while many small reservoirs and mountain ponds dried up.

The headquarters estimated the drought would continue through November 20.

Wells were being dug and water wagons were being sent to townships and villages to ease shortages.

Some areas also tried to make artificial rain, which proved to be of little use due to a lack of rain clouds.


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