• Dry zone still prays for rain
  • global times 2010-05-25 17:57 anonymous
  • (Low carbon net news) Even though the rainy season has arrived in Southwest China's Yunnan Province, some local residents said they are still affected by drought conditions, with reservoirs still running dry and light drizzle quickly evaporating to steam as soon as the raindrops hit the ground.

    The provincial meteorological bureau said on Saturday that heavy rain is expected to drench the province between now and Thursday, which will help bring relief to the drought-stricken region.

    Rainfall is expected in Lijiang, Dali, Chuxiong, Kunming, Qujing and Yuxi. The temperature in the western part of the province is expected to fall by 5 C, China News Service reported Sunday.

    The report noted that the thirsty province has suffered from parched farm fields and dry wells since last August, and that the rainfall will alleviate the situation.

    There were rain showers in some provincial cities Sunday, but some local residents said they still feel the impact of the drought.

    Liang Hongxing, a resident in Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, told the Global Times Sunday that the rain was not as heavy as expected.

    "Compared with the half-year drought in Yunnan, a little shower is not enough water to help," Liang said.

    "The moment the raindrops fall on the group, they become steam and soon go back into the air."

    Some other areas in Yunnan didn't see a single raindrop Sunday, according to local residents.

    Li Kun, a resident of Zhaotong in Yunnan, told the Global Times Sunday that a reservoir in neighboring Huize county was totally dry.

    "The local villagers began to plant vegetables at the bottom of the dry reservoir," Li said.

     "The reservoir isn't likely to be filled with water soon since no raindrops have fallen."

    Li said that local residents must still go several miles from their homes to fetch water for daily life, and some children had to help their parents carry water.

    The drought has caused severe damage to the local economy. At least 2,800 hectares of forests were destroyed in more than 540 fires from November 1, 2009 to Tuesday in Yunnan, with a direct economic loss of 350 million yuan ($51 million), according to an earlier report by the Xinhua News Agency.

    Ma Lianxiang, the chief weather forecaster at the Yunnan Meteorological Bureau, said the impact of the drought would still linger, according to a Yunnan Information report.

    "The high temperature and strong wind will worsen the drought disaster," Ma said. "Some areas of Yunnan will suffer from dry weather again in late May."

    Meanwhile, heavy rains still sweep across South and Central China.

    In Guangdong Province, more than 1 million mu (67,000 hectares) of crops were destroyed, five people went missing and one person was killed by floods in Fujian Province.