Beijing faces severe drought

(06/05/2001) (xinhua)

Beijing encountered severe drought this year due to a sharp decrease in rainfall.

Statistics released by the municipal government show that from March to May, Beijing had only 20 millimeters of rainfall, 67.5 percent less than the normal level.

The drought has expanded since May as there were merely 4.5 millimeters of rainfall, down by 86 percent from the normal level, in addition to strong winds and abundant sunlight.

Presently, about 70 percent of the land in the city is hit by drought, 22 percent of which sustains severe drought.

The city government has allocated 29 million yuan (US$3.49 million) for the fight against drought.

A city in acute shortage of water, Beijing has a per capita occupation of water resources of merely 300 cubic meters, which is one-eighth of the national average and one-thirtieth of the world' s average.