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Rain, snow to relieve drought, dissipate haze in China

BEIJING, Feb. 25 — Rain and snow forecast in the next three days in China's eastern and central regions are expected to relieve drought and dissipate haze that has reduced visibility to 200 meters in some areas.

The China Meteorological Administration said Friday that light to medium rainfall and snow would start Friday in most eastern and central provinces, with some areas having medium to heavy rain and snow.

The rain and snow, accompanied by strong winds, would ease the drought and dissipate the haze, the administration said.

Drought has plagued large areas of farmland in north China. The affected area of winter wheat in eight provinces is estimated at 60,553 square kilometers, with 26 percent seeing "severe drought," according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Winter wheat accounts for 95 percent of China's gross wheat output.

The drought also left many people short of drinking water in south China. Almost 190,000 people are short of drinking water in a county in Chongqing Municipality, said the local water conservancy office on Monday.

Heavy fog has enveloped Beijing this week. With visibility of around a kilometer, the city's air pollution has been at the most hazardous levels measured this year, according to the municipal environment bureau. (PNA/Xinhua)

DCT/ebp

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