Drought in China: authorities will stimulate rain with chemicals

Drought in China: Authorities to boost rain with chemicals

In central Chongqing, the Jialing River is approaching a historic low

China says it will try to protect its harvest of cereals in an unprecedented drought using chemicals to generate rain, while the thermometer reached 45 degrees Celsius.

Authorities will “attempt to increase the amount of rain” by seeding clouds with chemicals and spraying crops with a “water-retaining agent” to limit evaporation, the official said. Ministry of Agriculture on its website. He gave no details on where the operation would take place.

Hottest, driest summer since the government started recording rainfall and temperature 61 years ago withered crops and left reservoirs at half their normal water level.

The next 10 days will be a “key period” in determining the fate of southern China's rice harvest, Agriculture Minister Tang Renjian said, according to the Global Times newspaper. .

Authorities will take emergency measures to “ensure the autumn grain harvest”, which accounts for 75 percent of China's annual total, Tang said Friday. , according to the article.

The drought is yet another challenge for the ruling Communist Party, which is trying to shore up sluggish economic growth ahead of a congress in October or November where incumbent President Xi Jinping is expected to seek a third five-term term. years old.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (archives).

A smaller Chinese grain harvest would have a potential global impact. This would boost import demand, adding further pressure on runaway inflation in North America and Europe.

Also on Sunday, thousands of factories in Sichuan province that make solar panels, electronic chips and other industrial goods waited to hear whether last week's six-day shutdown would be extended. Factories had to close to save energy for homes as demand for air conditioning increased.

Authorities did not respond to phone calls to this topic.

The governments of Sichuan and neighboring Hubei Province reported that thousands of hectares of crops were lost and millions more have been damaged.

The Hubei government declared a state of emergency on Saturday due to drought and announced relief measures. The Sichuan government, for its part, estimates that 819,000 people are facing a shortage of drinking water.

Offices and shopping centers in Sichuan have received the x27;order to turn off lights and air conditioning. Metro in Chengdu, the provincial capital, said it turned off thousands of lights at stations.

Meanwhile, other areas suffered deadly flash floods .

Floods in northwest Qinghai Province have killed at least 26 people and left 5 missing, state television reported on Sunday. , citing local authorities.

Landslides and overflowing rivers affected six villages in Datong County on Thursday night, according to earlier reports. Some 1,500 people were driven from their homes.

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