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Half of China is facing drought

Half of China’s territory is facing drought, some more intense and some less, as this summer’s record temperatures have caused water shortages in several regions, including Tibet, according to official figures.

Since the beginning of meteorological records in 1961, China has never experienced such a hot summer, and this is an unprecedented situation for the country in terms of both the duration and extent of the heat wave.

Several major cities recorded their hottest days on record, with the thermometer reaching up to 45 degrees Celsius in the southwestern part of the country. As with the country’s largest river, the Yangtze, many rivers have seen their water levels drop significantly.

Overall, half of China is facing drought, some more and some less, according to a map released yesterday, Wednesday, by the national meteorological service.

This phenomenon affects entire swaths of the country, notably a large strip that includes the southern part of the highly mountainous Tibet Autonomous Region in the west and extends to the coastal areas in the east, which are China’s economic heart.

This extensive belt, home to a total of more than 370 million people, mainly follows the route of the Yangtze River.

Some parts of Tibet are among the zones where the drought is classified as “severe” or “notable” by the national weather service.

These conditions create a challenge for agriculture, in a country that under normal conditions already presents a lack of arable land.

The drought mainly poses a problem for rice and soybean crops, which need a lot of water.

In this context, the government decided yesterday to release a special package of 10 billion yuan (almost 1.5 billion euros) to support farmers against the drought, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

This amount will be allocated mainly to ensure rice harvests in the fall.

The lowering of the water level in the rivers, which feed the hydroelectric dams, also forces the authorities to provide local electricity on a rationed basis, while residents use air conditioners to cool down.

SOURCE: AMPE

Source: Capital

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