HOHHOT, July 14 (Xinhua) -- North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is suffering from a severe drought, which has damaged crop yields and caused economic losses.
The National Commission for Disaster Reduction and the Ministry of Civil Affairs jointly launched an emergency response Friday, sending a work team to the region to help guide disaster relief work.
According to the regional civil affairs department, Inner Mongolia has seen less rainfall and higher temperatures than normal this year. Since the beginning of July, more than half of the region has experienced temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius. In the central and western areas, temperatures at 17 monitored sites have exceeded 35 degrees Celsius.
By 10 a.m. Friday, more than 4 million people in 10 cities had been affected by the drought, with more than 2 million people requiring disaster relief. About 2.7 million hectares of crops and 34.3 million hectares of grassland have been affected, leading to a direct economic loss of 5 billion yuan (737 million U.S. dollars).
Authorities have taken a variety of measures, including digging new wells, water diversion projects and cloud seeding operations.