In contrast to the freezing rain and heavy snow in southern China, the country's northern, eastern, and central regions have faced their driest weather in 60 years, with the capital city Beijing having recorded 82 days since the last rainfall.
Of the nine provinces affected by water shortages, six produce more than 80% of the nation's staple wheat crop, raising concerns about increased food prices. As of Monday, January 24, over 4 million hectares of crops across the nation were affected by the prolonged dry conditions.
In Shandong province alone, 240,000 people currently depend on deliveries from fire trucks for drinking water, and about 2 million hectares, or over half of its wheat fields, have been affected. The provincial government has promised US$3 million in relief aid.
Meanwhile in Henan Province, which produces a quarter of the nation's wheat, the government has allocated US$32 million to recover from the severe dry conditions that include 86% reduced precipitation compared to last year.
We pray that the weather in the affected regions quickly balances through the blessing of adequate rain for the Chinese people as all of humanity acts in gentler care to protect resources and all planetary inhabitants.
During a March 2009 videoconference in the United States, Supreme Master Ching Hai discussed the increasingly precarious situation of dry weather, while highlighting the most effective action needed to preserve especially the Earth's precious water.