Harsh Droughts Hit China

By Frank Fang, Epoch Times

Provinces around China, including Liaoning and Jilin in the north, Henan in the center, Xinjiang in the far west, and elsewhere, are experiencing the worst droughts in over six decades, as water shortages become acute from prolonged, low rainfalls. 

Compared to last year, there has been a 60 percent drop in rainfall this year—the lowest recorded since 1951, according to Xinhua, the state-run news agency.

As of Aug. 24 over 10 million acres of agricultural land have been hit, and nearly 50 million acres of land in total. Nearly two thirds of the affected area is said to be in “severe’ drought, some of it entirely arid. Eastern Liaoning may bring in very little harvest this year. 

Making matters worse, the drought is predicted to continue perhaps into the fall. 

In places directly outside the drought affected areas in Liaoning Provinces, pests have been particularly active, also decimating crops. 

Henan, in central China, has also had large amounts of farmland hit with drought, particularly in the west and northern areas of the province. Of the 143 water reservoirs in Pingdingshan City, 98 are reportedly dried up, while 44 of the 49 rivers are also dry. 

In the far western province of Xinjiang, economic losses due to drought have been recorded at 4.3 billion yuan ($700 million), with some areas only reaping 60 percent of the expected harvest, and others gaining no harvest at all. 

Inner Mongolia has lost huge amounts of grassland over the last year—to the tune of 2 million acres—meaning that the livestock on the plains may be generally weaker, and stand less chance of surviving the winter. 

Follow Frank on Twitter: @HwaiDer