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China Declares National Drought as Heatwave Threatens Crops

After several regions endured weeks of extreme heat, a national "yellow alert," which is two tiers below the most serious warning on Beijing's scale, was issued late Thursday. Government representatives have repeatedly pointed to climate change as the root of the problem.

Shivam Dwivedi
While battling forest fires, the government has dispatched special teams to protect crops.
While battling forest fires, the government has dispatched special teams to protect crops.

After 66 rivers dried up in the southwest of the country on Friday, China issued its first nationwide drought alert of the year. The crops in China are seriously threatened by the drought and the intense heatwaves brought on by forest fires. In the southwest of Chongqing, as many as 66 rivers spread across 34 counties have dried up.

Chinese officials declared "several new measures" earlier this week to "help alleviate the impact of the drought," including financial assistance, cloud seeding, and the closure of some energy-intensive industries.

The Washington Post referred to the situation as China's "worst drought on record" as rising temperatures have caused parts of the Yangtze River to dry up, harming crops and reducing the availability of drinking water in some rural communities.

After several regions endured weeks of extreme heat, a national "yellow alert," which is two tiers below the most serious warning on Beijing's scale, was issued late Thursday. Government representatives have repeatedly pointed to climate change as the root of the problem.

The intense heat in southwestern China has caused up to 66 rivers across 34 counties to dry up. In addition, rainfall in southern China is 60% lower this year than it typically is at this time of year.

Data released by China's emergency ministry late Thursday showed that the hot weather in July alone resulted in direct economic losses of 2.73 billion yuan ($400 million) and impacted 5.5 million people.

While battling forest fires, the government has dispatched special teams to protect crops. The world's largest CO2 emitter, China, has previously been forewarned that climate change will cause extreme weather events.

To ensure supplies do not run out, China's water resources ministry has instructed drought-stricken agricultural regions to create rotas determining who can access supplies at any given time.

Stay tuned with Krishi Jagran for more Agri News!

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