Drought, water shortage haunts Chinese province

Beijing, Aug 18 (IANS) More than three million people and 1.5 million cattle in Guizhou province of southwestern China are facing shortage of drinking water, though rainfall in the last few days has partly relieved this region of the lingering drought.

Over 17 million people in 1,311 towns have been affected by the drought since July, with 3.17 million lacking drinking water, reported Xinhua Saturday citing provincial flood and drought relief authorities.

According to initial estimates, the drought has caused economic losses of 9.54 billion yuan (about $1.55 billion) and affected some 1.34 million hectares of farmland.

The provincial meteorological authorities have said though the drought will continue in the coming week, rain showers in next three days will offer some respite.