The Yellow River, once called 'China's sorrow' because of its devastating floods, is threatening to dry up as drought continues to affect Shandong province, through which the river flows to meet the sea, China Daily said. Rainfall in the province averaged just 13mm in June and July, 85 per cent less than in the previous year. Drought is also affecting many other areas of northern China and reservoirs in 16 provinces had fallen drastically as a result. Drinking water shortages were affecting some 7.9m people and 6.3m head of livestock.
Fires sparked by lightning in the forests of the Greater Hinggan Mountains of north-east China spread rapidly because of the dryness caused by lack of rain and were not brought under control for over a week.