Shillong: Northeast India, which boasts of the world’s wettest place, has witnessed the highest rainfall deficit in the last 30 years which meteorologists attribute to global warming.
Official records till 20 July say Manipur has been worst affected recording 67% deficient rainfall, followed by Meghalaya (-55%), Nagaland (-62%), Assam (-34%), Mizoram (-31%), Tripura (-30%) and Arunachal Pradesh (-29%).
As a fallout, summer temperatures have shot up by almost 5° C on an average over the last two decades in Northeast India, a region nestled in hills and full of rivers.
Describing this year’s condition as unusual, Guwahati -based Regional Meteorological Centre director H.G. Pathak said the region had recorded deficit rainfall throughout the decade, with only 2003 witnessing 4% above normal rainfall.
In the last 30 years, the year 2006 saw a deficit of 37%, while in 1986 the shortfall was 37% in the Assam and Meghalaya region.
Between 1980-90, only the year 1986 saw deficit rainfall, while in the 1991-2000 decade, only three years saw normal or above normal rainfall in the Assam-Meghalaya region.
Owing to shortfalls in rain, temperatures are soaring across the region. Temperatures have risen 5° C above normal on an average. Due to scarcity of rains, Manipur and several districts of Assam have already been declared as affected by drought-like situation.