China Drought Threatens Water Supply for Millions
Large areas of southern and southwestern China from the island province of Hainan to normally wet and subtropical Yunnan province have seen hardly any rain this spring, Xinhua said, citing the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Water shortages had also affected 13 million hectares of farmland, it added.
Inner Mongolia, covered by desert in large parts, and the frigid northeastern province of Heilongjiang were seeing similar water shortages and were in increased danger of being struck by dust storms, the report said.
"The China Meteorological Station is forecasting little rain in Sichuan, Chongqing and Yunnan in the next 10 days and floating dust in northern China," it said.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao warned at March's annual meeting of parliament that abnormal weather conditions, a warm winter and drought, could reduce the country's grain production this year after three years of bumper harvests.