CHINA DROUGHT – China declares nationwide yellow alert for drought

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China issued its first nationwide drought warning of the year, as authorities organized teams to protect crops from scorching temperatures across the Yangtze River basin, according to state-run media on Friday.

The nationwide “yellow alert,” announced late Thursday, comes after weeks of high temperatures that have dried up parts of the Yangtze, damaging crops and reducing the drinking water supply to some rural communities.

China has a four-tier, color-coded weather warning system, with red representing the most severe, followed by orange, yellow and blue.

Cutoffs in as many as 66 rivers in 34 counties in southwest China have dried up due to the scorching heat amid a 60 percent dip in rainfall compared to seasonal levels, state media CGTN reported Friday.