Beijing (AFP) Jan 30, 2010
Officials warned Saturday that 240,000 people were suffering from water shortages in a mountainous region in southern China that has been hit by a five-month-long drought, state media reported.
Western and northwestern parts of the Guangxi region have had little rain since August, forcing villagers to travel kilometers (miles) to fetch water, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
"Local governments have been sending water trucks to those villages that suffer severe shortages," a spokesman at the drought relief headquarters was quoted as saying.
"We are organising local residents to dig wells and divert water from elsewhere to the drought-hit areas," the spokesman said.
Drought has hit several parts of north, central and southern China in the past year, leaving millions short of water.
Nearly five million people were affected by a three-month drought that hit in late July in an area spanning Inner Mongolia in the north to Jilin province in the northeast, earlier state media reports said.
In Liaoning province, next to Jilin, the situation was the worst in 60 years, with half of all arable land having dried up, reports said.
Meanwhile, the provinces of Hubei, Hunan, and Guangdong also suffered droughts, as they have been hard hit by a combination of low rainfall and higher than normal temperatures, reports said.
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