China Drought “Red Alert”

China has declared an emergency in eight northern and central drought-hit regions, where nearly four million people are suffering water shortages.

Nearly half of China’s winter crop – some 10m hectares (24m acres) of wheat and rape seed – are also under threat.

President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao ordered all-out efforts to fight the drought, allocating 400m yuan ($58m, £40m) in relief assistance.

BBC

China’s drought relief office called it an event “rarely seen in history”.

China faces droughts and floods annually but has seen a recent increase in extreme weather conditions.

The Chinese authorities say the current drought is expected to continue as no rain has been forecast in the affected areas for at least 10 days.

‘Red alert’

The Chinese leaders’ decision was announced at a State Council meeting, according to the Xinhua news agency.

Government efforts should be directed at stabilising grain production, increasing farmers’ income and ensuring agricultural production, the Council said.

The agriculture ministry says it is on red alert.

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7871964.stm

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