Drought conditions triggered by sustained hot weather and low precipitation in East China's Jiangxi province have reduced the country's largest freshwater lake, Poyang, by 75 percent, according to local authorities on Thursday.
As of 10 am Thursday, the total area of the lake registered 737 square km, 2,203 square km less than that of the same period last year, said the provincial water resources department.
The water level at the lake's landmark Xingzi hydrological station had receded to 10.12 meters by 10 am Thursday, less than half of the record high of 22.63 meters.
The lake officially entered this year's dry season on Aug 6, the earliest date since records started in 1951 and 69 days earlier than the average starting date between 2003 and 2021.
Many parts of Jiangxi have issued red alerts for excessive heat, with 558 meteorological monitoring stations across the province reporting temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius at present.
According to the weather forecast, high temperatures and little rain in Jiangxi are expected to continue until September.