Beijing: A severe drought in China has
affected around 34.83 million people in five provinces along
the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River.
Among them, about 4.23 million are experiencing
difficulty in finding drinking water and 5.06 million are in
need of assistance China`s Ministry of Civil Affairs said
citing reports from civil affairs departments from the five
provinces of Jiangsu, Anhui, Jiangxi, Hubei, and Hunan.
The drought, caused by unusually low rainfall and
insufficient flow from the upper reaches of the Yangtze River
also led to an direct economic loss of 14.94 billion yuan (USD
2.29 billion), it said.
The Ministry has warned that the drought poses a serious
threat to drinking water supplies for urban residents in
affected areas as reservoirs are being drained.
The Ministry, along with the State Disaster Relief
Commission, has ordered a series of measures in response to
the lingering drought, including allocating a relief fund to
Hubei and Hunan, the two hardest hit provinces, official
Xinhua news agency reported.