Watchman Newsletter

Drought in Tibet Now Worst in 30 Years

The Hindu (Link) (June 25, 2009)

Authorities in Tibet Saturday said the drought is worsening as parts of the southwest China's autonomous region see the worst drought in 30 years.

The prolonged drought has hit 33 counties in five of the six prefectures in Tibet, the regional drought relief and flood control headquarters said Saturday. The acreage is 15.3 percent of Tibet's total. Among them, 26,500 hectares were damaged and 793 hectares destroyed. The drought has also killed 13,601 head of cattle.

Nine meteorological centers in Tibet have not seen substantial rain for 226 consecutive days, Zhao Yiping, head of the Tibet Regional Meteorological Bureau, said Saturday.

The drought has also been worsened by higher than normal temperatures. Tibet has experienced temperatures 0.4 to 2.3 celsius degrees higher than normal years, Zhao said.

He forecast that there would be rain in Lhasa and Xigaze from June 22 to 25. The bureau is prepared to add artificial rain for drought relief, he added.

Some farmers will get compensation from insurance companies as they are covered by pilot policy insurance, said Sun Guoxin, general manager of the People's Insurance Company (Group) of China's Tibet branch.

Sun added that the insurer will offer more than 30 million yuan (4.4 million U.S. dollars) in compensation for the policyholders. †

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