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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Indonesia. El Nino intensifies drought in Bali. There are regions where it has not rained for five months

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The Indonesian island of Bali is suffering from drought. In some regions there has been no rain for five months. Water reservoirs are drying up and farmers are afraid for their crops and future.

Wayan Dharmayasa was a rice farmer all his life. Unfortunately, he has recently been forced to plant other plants that are more resistant to difficult conditions. All because Bali has been affected by the drastic consequences of a weather trend called El Nino.

The influence of El Nino

El Nino is a weather anomaly associated with warming waters in the eastern part of the Pacific. It is formed when the trade winds blowing in the intertropical zone weaken. Weaker wind gusts move the heated ocean waters less effectively, which leads to heat accumulating near the equator and releasing it into the atmosphere. This affects not only sea conditions, but also air circulation. Changes that occur as a result of anomalies persist for a long time. El Nino can affect weather around the world.

El NiñoMaciej Zieliński/PAP/Reuters

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In the case of Indonesia, including the island of Bali, El Nino contributed to the deepening of drought. On Thursday, the authorities introduced a two-week state of emergency. The situation is so serious that residents lack drinking water and have to queue for it.

Water reservoirs are drying up

According to the regency’s disaster mitigation agency, there has been no rain in Jembran – the hardest-hit area of ​​the island – for five months. The largest water reservoir, which holds eight million cubic meters of water, currently holds only 320,000. cubic meters.

Dharmayasa’s rice fields are located right next to the reservoir. The man is afraid that if it dries completely, there will be no chance of improving the situation.

“Farmers cannot plant rice, but we plant other crops such as corn and vegetables, anything that will help us survive and earn a living,” he said. Estimates from the Indonesian Statistics Bureau indicate that rice production will be two percent lower than usual in 2023.

El Nino will be a major concern in Bali until at least November.

Main photo source: Reuters

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