A persistent drought is affecting as much as 40% of China’s remote northwestern region of Inner Mongolia, causing over US$91 million in direct economic losses.
The regional weather bureau said Inner Mongolia has seen 25% less rainfall since mid-June and is around 1 °C (1.8 °F) higher in temperature than during the same period in previous years.
By June 27, 2018, nearly 37 million hectares (91 million acres) of grassland and over 35 million livestock had been affected, according to data provided by the regional department of agriculture and animal husbandry.
The conditions caused rat plague which is threatening more than 4 million ha (10 million acres) of grassland throughout the region.
Officials said Inner Mongolia’s northeastern and eastern areas suffered their worst drought on record in 2017.
By late May 2017, 120 000 people and half a million livestock were grappling with a shortage of drinking water, according to China’s Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei.
Featured image credit: Preston Rhea via Flickr