Over 18 million people and 11 million large livestock lack drinking water, said to be double the usual number for this season. The drought-affected area is said to include 92 million mu (6.1 million hectares). Official news reports describe the situation as "extremely serious" and "grim."
At the National Peoples Congress held in Beijing, Premier (and unoffical Minister of Sympathy) Wen Jiabao took time out to express his sympathy to the delegations from Guizhou and Yunnan, the hardest hit provinces. Wen said, "Guizhou’s biggest worry now is to be rescued from the drought."
The national drought control and management center held a consultation and is now organizing teams all the way down to the county, town, and village level to "...troubleshoot, begin various anti-drought measures, think of solutions, and get water to the public in drought-affected regions at any cost."