Economic Losses From Central China’s Drought Reach $1.2 Billion

14 Aug 2014 by OOSKAnews Correspondent

Central China’s Henan Province has lost some $1.2 billion USD, mostly in the agricultural sector, to the current severe drought, local authorities said this week.

The province is a major grain producer for the country. The drought has affected 19.3 million of its residents and left 1.1 million short of drinking water. As a result, the local administration has raised its emergency response to the third-highest level.

In recent days, parts of Henan have received light rain. However, this has not done much to ease drought conditions, the provincial civil affairs department said in a statement.

The Baiguishan Reservoir, a major drinking water source for the provincial capital, Zhengzhou, reached zero storage late last month. The city has restricted power supply for residents, enterprises and business operators for four days due to water shortages.

Twelve provinces in northern and central China are currently grappling with the effects of ongoing drought. As much as one-third of the country is impacted, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

Northeast Liaoning Province is suffering its worst drought in 63 years, and the situation there is expected to get worse. The provincial meteorological bureau said in a statement that 2 million hectares of crops have been destroyed, and it is likely that more crops will be affected since below normal rainfall is expected for the rest of August.

Other provinces affected by drought include Jilin, Inner Mongolia, Shaanxi and Hubei. In Jilin, 10 grain-producing counties are affected, and many corn fields will produce zero harvest, according to the provincial weather bureau.