Uruguayan Drought Decimating Crops; Rationing Invoked

From Reuters

The government Monday restricted water and energy consumption as farming sources said a drought was taking its toll on cattle and crops.

Thousands of head of cattle are dying of thirst and nearly 70% of the crops are at risk of being lost due to the drought that began in mid-1988, the sources said.

President Julio Sanguinetti flew over affected areas in a helicopter and called a session of his crisis committee, made up of Cabinet ministers, armed forces commanders and state utility managers.

Trucks distributed drinking water in provincial cities, government sources said.

"We're at the countdown. The (cattle-farming) sector is fighting against the clock. At the moment cattle are dying by the thousand," Rural Assn. President Hector Paysse said.

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