HA NOI (VNS)– The Central and Highlands regions will suffer from severe drought in the coming dry season, warns the National Centre for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting.
It is forecast that large-scale water shortages will occur from Ha Tinh to Binh Thuan Provinces while partial drought will endanger Tay Nguyen in the Central Highlands.
The Central region has been alerted that seawater may travel up to 60km inland in coastal areas.
The water flow of the Mekong River will also be 30-45 per cent lower than average.
Only the provinces of Thanh Hoa and Nghe An saw heavy rain during the recent rainy season, according to Le Thanh Hai, the centre's deputy director. Even in these areas, total rainfall was lower than that of previous years.
During October and November, the most intense time of the rainy season, the rainfall recorded in the area from Quang Tri to Ninh Thuan provinces was 70-90 per cent less than normal.
Worse still, rivers were flowing at half the average rate, Hai said.
By the end of November, the water level in almost all the reservoirs in the central region was significantly lower than usual, particularly in the provinces of Ha Tinh, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai and Binh Dinh, where there was up to 80 per cent less water.
The problem also occurred in many hydro power plant reservoirs, which saw water levels 1-6m lower than usual.
According to the centre, the flood season has ended, eliminating hopes for more heavy rain. -- VNS