Drought and Sea Ice Threaten Eastern China

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China's Shandong Province faces its worst drought in a century resulting in shortage of drinking water. And cold weather continues to plague the country's southwest. Here's more.

A dry spell has struck China's Shandong Province, causing the province's worst drought in a century.

State-run media reports that nearly a quarter of a million residents are facing drinking water shortages.

Parts of northern, central and eastern China, including Henan Province, have been gripped by drought for more than three months.

Deteriorating conditions in major wheat regions have lowered reservoir levels dramatically in some areas of Shandong.

The drought has affected wheat crops in 17 percent of growing areas in the northern breadbasket and dry weather is forecast to last until spring.

Extreme cold is hitting China's shipping lanes as sea ice forms off the east coast, slowing the passage of large vessels and preventing smaller vessels from leaving port.

The floating ice sheets can threaten smaller vessels if the blocks collide and crush the boat.

Parts of southern China have been hit by freezing rain and heavy snow, affecting crops and disrupting traffic.

A fresh cold snap with freezing rain and snow is likely to hit southwestern China in the middle of this week.

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