05/10/2005, 00.00
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'Apocalyptic' summer in the forecast

Meteorologist warns this summer could be the worst in 50 years. Flooding, typhoons and drought are expected.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Qin Dahe, a well-known Chinese weather forecaster, warned that China may experience an 'apocalyptic' summer. The country could in fact suffer from its worst floods and drought in 50 years, threatening corn, cotton and rice crops, which are the main staples of China's farming sector.

"China may face a grim situation from seasonal floods or drought this year with potential damage worse than that of last year," he said.

In summer, China regularly suffers loss of life as a result of bad weather phenomena like floods and drought. Furthermore, earthquakes are common, and so are typhoons which roar ashore from the South China Sea in the summer

Already during this year's May Day celebrations lightening killed five people.

China grows most of its grain, mainly corn and rice, from June to August—floods are expected in areas along the middle and low reaches of the Yangtze River where most fields are located.

Southern Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan provinces are already suffering their worst drought in 50 years, taking a toll on rubber and sugar.

Floods are forecast in north-eastern provinces, in Inner Mongolia and Xinjiang, which are expected to receive 20 per cent more rain this year than normal.

Provinces throughout China have already been hit by rain and thunder storms in recent days.

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