North China drought leaves thousands without drinking water

A drought in China's northeast Liaoning province has left 670,000 people without drinking water after rainfall in the first three months of 2008 tumbled to one-fifth of levels last year, state media reported.

The area is a top grain producer. Maize and rice farming is due to begin next week, Reuters said, but from January to the end of March the province had got less than 2 centimetres of rain.

Some 66 reservoirs have dried up, Xinhua said. China’s weather administration said in early April that drought parching other parts of northern China was the worst in several decades and would continue this month.

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