More than 2,300 artillery shells and 400 rockets were fired Saturday as officials tried to make rain over the drought-stricken North China plain. The China Meteorological Administration said these operations brought an average 0.5 millimeters of rainfall to 17 counties and cities in Henan province. Other areas of the plain saw one to five millimeters of rain overnight.
Xinhua reports that the rush to irrigate the summer crop now has 52.7 percent of the wheat farmland in the drought-hit provinces watered, according to the agriculture ministry. A Ministry of Water Resources says water from the Yangtze River will be diverted north to Jiangsu province while sluices on the Inner Mongolian section of the Yellow River, will be opened to increase water supply for Henan and Shandong provinces. Downstream sluices are already open.
We are also starting to get reports of drought affecting rice-growing Hubei, Hunan, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces.
Here is a snapshot of the affected wheat-growing area of the North China Plain from ReliefWeb: