BEIJING, Feb. 24 — A severe drought over the past months has left 7.5 million people and more than 4 million head of livestock without adequate drinking water in two southwestern Chinese provinces, local authorities said Tuesday.
In addition, the long dry spell has threatened reservoirs and affected millions of hectares of crop land and forests in Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces, according to the local drought relief authorities.
Yunnan has been experiencing the worst drought in six decades since last autumn due to lack of rainfall and high temperatures.
Almost 6 million people and 3.6 million head of livestock are facing drinking water shortages in Yunnan.
"The drought would bring grave losses to industrial and agricultural production, and increase risks of forest fires," Qin Guangrong, governor of Yunnan, told a drought relief meeting Tuesday.
If the drought continues, the number of people hit by drinking water shortages in Yunnan would rise to 7.92 million in March, 9.51 million in April and 10.14 million in May, he said.
In addition, more crop land would be affected and grain production would be greatly reduced, he said.
Authorities in the two provinces have allocated special funds, and dispatched relief personnel and water trucks to the drought-stricken areas. (PNA/Xinhua)