With official statistics indicating that rainfall in the Yangtze River basin has been reduced by up to 70%, water levels in China’s longest river continue to decline.
Nearly 100 million hectares of land have been affected along with 5 million people who are in need of drinking water. The Henggang region in Guangdong province was noted to be at its lowest level in history, while dangerously low levels in a dolphin preservation area in Hubei province has already trapped the vulnerable finless dolphins during their sensitive calving season, with the aquatic mammal's survival now threatened.
Maritime officials are meanwhile issuing updates about the river's navigability by ships with closures in some sections following daily river inspections.
The drought conditions upriver have also shrunk Poyang Lake in South China's Jiangxi Province to just one tenth its usual size, and rice farmers report that despite recent rainfall, the land is so dry that they are still unable to transplant seedlings.
We are saddened by the drought's devastating effects as we pray for the relief of gentle rain. May our steps be swift toward more conscientious care of the environment to help restore planetary balance for all beings.