Indonesia to suffer worst drought in five years in 2015: Agency

Indonesia to suffer worst drought in five years in 2015: Agency
PHOTO: Reuters

The National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN) said on Friday that Indonesia would suffer the worst drought in the past five years in 2015.

"Now our index reaches 1.37. Our prediction is it will get higher, between 1.5 and 2.5. This is the highest in the last five years," Lapan representative Erma Yulihastin said, referring to an index that was measured based on El Nino phenomenon, or the anomaly in sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

She also said that the drought in July would happen in 80 per cent of Indonesia's territory.

"Except parts of Kalimantan and Sumatra, which will see rain," she said.

Erma's colleague, Lely Qodrita, said similar droughts also occurred between 1982 and 1983 and between 1997 and 1998, suggesting a 15-year cycle for Indonesia's worst dry seasons.

Therefore, Lapan has warned the government and the public to be prepared for the harsh season, as it will affect agriculture.

"Our national stock will be impacted until the end of this year. We do not recommend to plant any new seed at this time," Erma said.

Farmers in West Java have started to feel the impact of the prolonged dry season with almost 20 regencies threatened with crop failures.

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