Continuous drought leaves 672,000 people short of water in SW China

CHONGQING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- A lingering drought has left 672,000 people and 317,000 heads of livestock short of drinking water in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, local authorities said Thursday.

High temperatures and scarce rainfall over the past month were mainly to blame for the drought, which had withered up almost 140,000 hectares of crops and dried up six rivers and 92 reservoirs, a spokesman with the Chongqing Municipal Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters said.

Local authorities have dispatched water trucks and relief supplies to the parched areas and allocated special funds for drought relief, he said.

Local meteorological authorities forecasted that the drought would continue for the next two months as temperatures were likely to be higher and rainfall less than past years.