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Drought hits over a million people in southern China: report

by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Dec 18, 2007
A drought described as the worst in 50 years in parts of southern China has left over a million people short of drinking water, state media reported Tuesday.

More than one million residents in Guangxi region and nearly 250,000 in Guangdong province have been impacted by the drought since September, the China Daily reported.

Guangxi recorded just 0.5 millimetres of rainfall between November 5 and December 10, the lowest since 1951, while 75 percent of its sugar cane crop has been affected by the water shortage, the report said.

The water level of the Beijiang river in northern Guangdong fell to just 3.79 meters (12.5 feet) in early December, forcing ships to be delayed until dredging could be carried out.

Droughts in China occur frequently, with the north of the country particularly parched.

But in recent years areas in the traditionally wet south have also had unusually dry weather that some Chinese experts have said may be linked to global warming.

China's water shortages have been exacerbated by pollution that has increased at alarming rates during the nation's past three decades of rapid economic growth.

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Adapt to climate change, World Bank chief tells developing nations
Beijing (AFP) Dec 18, 2007
China and other developing countries must place a much greater priority on adapting to climate change, World Bank president Robert Zoellick said on Tuesday.

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