The severe drought that has blighted the Yangtze River region has now dried up thousands of rivers and lakes, damaged farmland and posed navigational problems for shipping.
A satellite image of the area taken on Saturday shows that the water of Poyang Lake – China’s largest body of fresh water – had shrunk by 34 percent compared to the same period last year. Dongting Lake – the nation’s second-largest freshwater lake – is about 31 percent smaller than it was this time last year, according to the China Meteorological Administration.
However, there does seem to be some relief in sight. Chen Zhenlin, director of the administration’s emergency response, disaster mitigation and public services department, said the worst drought for five decades could be eased by medium-to-heavy rain that is predicted to fall on the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River between Friday and Monday.