A lingering drought in central and southern parts of China has resulted in power shortages, according to state media in the country.

Thermal generating plants in the provinces of Guizhou, Shaanxi, Henan, Shanxi, Hunan and Qinghai have been shut down, while others have been forced to reduce their output because of a drought in the region that has lasted for more than four months.

The problem has also been exacerbated by rising coal prices, according to the State Electricity Regulatory Authority. Power rationing was implemented in some regions of central China in early May.

The Three Gorges Dam has been discharging larger amounts of water than usual for diversion to Hunan and Hubei provinces to help alleviate the water shortages.

Almost 1500 small and medium reservoirs in Hubei province have all but dried up, leaving residents without water for drinking or irrigation, according to the Xinhua news agency.