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Drought affects 39 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam: UN

Xinhua, March 15, 2016 Adjust font size:

UN officials in Vietnam have warned that "severe drought and salt intrusion in the Mekong Delta is affecting" 39 out of 63 provinces in Vietnam, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday.

As of March 10, an estimated 195,200 families did not have sufficient water supply to meet their daily needs, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here. "Some 10 provinces have declared a state of emergency."

According to the authorities, 159,000 hectares of rice paddy have also been lost, amounting to an economic loss of 10.5 million U.S. dollars, and an additional 500,000 hectares were at risk of being lost by mid-2016, he said.

Months of below-average rainfall have conspired to produce the worst drought in Vietnam in the best part of 100 years.

The ongoing El Nino weather pattern is thought to be the main cause of the lack of rainfall affecting the country.

Vietnam is not alone in suffering drought. Neighboring Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar have been experiencing water shortages as a result of the weather phenomenon.