Mon, February 09, 2009
China > Mainland > Severe drought hits N China

Meteorologist: More rain expected in drought-hit north China

2009-02-07 16:53:07 GMT2009-02-08 00:53:07 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Photo taken on February 7, 2008, shows raindrops on wheat seedlings in Zhongmou County, Henan Province, central China. [Agencies]

A pond has dried up due to the lack of rainfall for months in Tangyin county, Central China's Henan province, February 2, 2009. The provincial meteorological agency issued a red alarm for drought last month and local drought relief agencies have mobilized money, people and equipment to help fight the severe situation. [CFP]

A woman sits on an abandoned boat in a dried-up lake reservoir in west suburban Zhengzhou, Central China's Henan province, February 3, 2009. [CFP]

Two children play in a pond that dried up due to the lack of rainfall for months in Tangyin county, Central China'sHenanprovince, February 2, 2009.[CFP]

A farmer uses water piped in to irrigate his wheat field severely affected by months of drought in a village in Lixin county, East China's Anhui province. [Xinhua]

BEIJING, Feb 7 (Xinhua) -- After some parts of the drought-stricken north China embraced the long-awaited rain on Saturday, more rainfall was expected to come on Sunday, said National Meteorological Center (NMC) on Saturday.

Rain or snow is forecast for Sunday and next Monday in parts of the northwest and southwest China. They will also spread to the country's north and central regions, according to the NMC.

The provinces of Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Hubei and Anhui, the country's major wheat-growing areas which are hard-hit by the rare drought will brace rain or snow from Saturday night to Sunday. The rainfall will be less than 10 millimeters, but will help relieve the grim drought moderately.

Rainfall Expected in Henan over next 3 Weeks

Zhao Guoqiang, vice-deputy director of the Meteorological Administration of Henan, said on Thursday that four to five periods of rain are expected in central China's drought-stricken Henan Province over the next three weeks.

"According to our current information, there will be four to five episodes of rainfall this month. They will occur between Feb. 7-8, 12-14, 17-18, 20-23, and 27-28."

The deputy director also says the province's precipitation in February will continue below the normal level.

The drought is the worst for almost fifty years in Henan province, one of China's key crop regions.

Its average rainfall has dropped by 90 percent since Nov 2008 compared with the same period last year. This is the lowest since 1961.

About 2.8 million hectares of wheat fields in the province have been hit by the drought, including 470,000 which are severely damaged.

Xinhua News Agency correspondents reporting from Henan.

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