China declares state of emergency over drought

China has declared a state of emergency after the worst drought in half-a-century wiped out crops in northern China and left millions of people without drinking water.
By Malcolm Moore in Shanghai
Last Updated: 7:28PM GMT 05 Feb 2009

We feel we to put this in some perspective for our readers the man made global shortage for rice, wheat, corn and other grains due in large part to Ethanol production continues  as we first spoke that this would continue at very least for two years, and more than likely into a third year.  The world wide economic crisis has hit communist china in the pocketbook hard, the earthquake in the south caused extensive damage in rural and farming areas, so now to the north in 17 provinces comes this drought threatening 20% of china’s wheat harvest and unknown number of cattle sheep pigs and ducks. For Chine to need to draw that much food off the near empty global shelves could prove to be disastrous in this harvest season as Australia harvest appears to be damaged between flooding, record heat, and fires sweeping across the south.


We strongly advise again for believers to put aside in a pantry dry food goods for expanding shortages.    

The northern and central provinces of Henan and Anhui, both of which are major grain producers, estimate that they could lose as much a fifth of their wheat crop.

Both provinces are desperately poor, and home to millions of migrant workers, many of whom have been laid off by factories on China's coast.

Roughly 3.7 million people and 1.9 million head of livestock do not have easy access to water.

China's State Council, the equivalent of a ministerial cabinet, on Thursday ordered another 300 million yuan (£30 million) of aid in addition to the 100 million yuan that has been spent on relief supplies since the end of last year.

President Hu Jintao said that all efforts must be made to save the summer grain harvest.

"With the drought reaching a severity rarely seen in history, the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters has called a level two emergency," China National Radio reported. Level two is categorised as a "serious" emergency on a four-stage scale, with level one being the worst.

Some areas have seen no rain or snow since November, while Beijing has not had a drop of rain for 100 days. Zong Zhiping, the head forecaster at the China Meteorological Association, said the lack of rainfall was due to a series of cold fronts that have stopped rain clouds reaching China from the Bay of Bengal.

Almost half of China's wheat is grown in just eight provinces, all of which have been affected by the drought. Around 9.5 million hectares of farmland has been hit.

The drought may also make birds more susceptible to avian flu, scientists said. There have been eight cases of bird flu in humans since the start of the year, six more than in the whole of 2008. The Food and Agriculture Organisation has hinted that China may not be reporting a major outbreak of the disease among its poultry.