BEIJING, May 30 (Xinhua) -- Drought has affected 2.67 million hectares of farmland in China due to lack of rainfall in the country's north and northeast, according to latest official statistics.
As of May 27, 120,000 people and 500,000 livestock faced shortage of drinking water as a result of the drought, said Chen Lei, minister of water resources, at a video conference of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
Authorities have dispatched 15 work teams to help heavily-affected regions, said Chen, who is also deputy head of the headquarters.
About 5.5 million people have joined the fight against drought, drilling wells or working on pumping stations to irrigate over 4 million hectares of farmland, according to the minister.
He demanded priority be given to ensuring drinking water safety for rural and urban residents.