Drought alert issued for Sindh, Balochistan!

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KARACHI

ONLINE

 

The Meteorological Department has warned of extreme drought conditions in the South, particularly Sindh and Balochistan.

The country as a whole could be faced with the prospect of 30 to 60 percent less monsoon rains, according to Pakistan Meteorological Department Director Azmat Hayat Khan.

It has experienced 11 such episodes in the past. A deficient monsoon could significantly impact agriculture and life pattern, particularly in Sindh.

If the rain were to be below normal in the South, which is a major sowing area for vegetables as well as cotton, rice, and sugarcane, the productivity in both rain-fed and irrigated areas could be set back dramatically, according to Khan.

High temperatures and dry conditions in May and June meant that evaporation of water from the irrigation network and farmlands would be very high.

The monsoon rain plays a crucial role in reducing the evaporation and meeting the water requirement of crops in the rain-fed areas in the North also.

Predicted rainfall for the North is no better either with just normal rains, according to the Met Office.

Drought conditions have occurred in the region when the temperatures in the Pacific Ocean increased as part of an El Nino phenomenon.

According to the Met Office, some of the worst drought events occurred in 1969, when rains dried up more than 90 percent, and in 1987 and in 1991 by over 75 percent.

In 2002, there was a deficiency of 90 percent that set off some of the severe droughts in the country.

Earlier this year, the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum had forecast a weak June to September monsoon for large swathes of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh this year.

The forum had also warned that the deficient summer monsoon could affect agriculture-based economies in South Asia.