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Lingering drought disrupts lives of 6 million in Yunnan

02-21-2012 15:04 BJT

KUNMING, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Severe drought has lingered in southwest China's Yunnan Province for three consecutive years, disrupting the lives of 6.3 million people at present, local authorities said Tuesday.

Direct economic losses reached 2.3 billion yuan (372 million U.S. dollars), according to a statement released by the provincial civil affairs department.

Villagers queue to get water from a water wagon in Xiayugu Village, Luliang City of
southwest China's Yunnan Province, Feb. 20, 2012. The local government sends more than
100,000 metric tons of drinking water each day to local villagers who have been
seriously affected by the drought. The drought has left more than 20,000 people and
20,000 livestock here short of drinking water. (Xinhua/Lin Yiguang)

More than 651,000 hectares of crops were damaged or destroyed by drought in the province, the statement said.

Among those affected, more than 2 million people are short of drinking water. About 18,000 firefighters and 5,000 vehicles have been mobilized to deliver water to these residents, said Yunnan's fire department.

As a major province producing herbal materails for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the prices of TCM from Yunnan are on the rise as the harsh conditions prevent farmers from meeting demand.

Prices of more than 80 percent of TCM categories on the market, up to 200 in number, have jumped 30 percent annually since 2010, according to figures from the provincial TCM chamber of commerce released on Saturday.

Editor:Wang Lingfei |Source: Xinhua

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