China attempting to induce rainfall amid severe drought: Report


Beijing, Aug 18 : Chinese authorities are attempting to induce rainfall in parts of central and southwest parts of the country amid a severe drought and record-breaking heatwave, a media report said. The Yangtze River, Asia's longest waterway, is now at record low levels and in some stretches, there has been less than half the usual rainfall, said the BBC report. Hydropower reservoirs are currently down by as much as half, officials have said. At the same time, a surge in demand for air conditioning has put power companies under extreme pressure, BBC reported. The two-month-long heatwave is the longest on record in China, the National Climate Centre said. Provinces around the drought-stricken Yangtze have turned to cloud seeding operations to combat the lack of rain, with Hubei and a number of other provinces launching rockets carrying chemicals into the sky, according to local media, the BBC reported. Meanwhile, temperatures across Sichuan and neighbouring provinces have exceeded 40 degrees Celsius. Millions of residents have also been hit with black outs in the province. In the city of Dazhou, home to some 5.4 million people, blackouts are lasting up to three hours, local media report. They say factories in the province have been forced to cut production or halt work as part of emergency measures to redirect power supplies to households. Hydropower reservoirs, of which there are many in the region, are currently down by as much as half, officials added. /IANS


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