CNN Beijing Bureau Chief
The woes we have spoken of
that have come to Communist
Since November northern and central
"The extent of drought is quite extensive, the impact is quite great," forecaster Zhang Peiqun said in an interview with state television CCTV. "Rainfall on average has been 50 to 80 percent less than that of last year."
In the drought, more than 4.3 million residents face a shortage of drinking water, as do 2 million livestock
The drought has hit 12 provinces, including the
wheat-producing areas in
Reached by telephone, a spokesman of
the Henan Drought Relief Headquarters told CNN that the worst affected areas
were north of the Yellow River, including the cities of
"The water level of the
With the emergency funding, teams of specialists have been dispatched to deliver technical expertise and relief supplies. The Anhui Agriculture Department is telling farmers in drought-hit villages to irrigate more efficiently, while other provinces have resorted to cloud seeding to induce rainfall.
Some relief may be on the way. Xinhua reported Thursday that meteorologists expect light to moderate rainfall or snow in some drought-hit areas over the next couple of days.