New Delhi: India’s southwest monsoon season ended on Friday with rainfall that was almost normal at 97%, leading to record sowing and filling of reservoirs with sufficient water after two years of drought.

In the previous two seasons, India recorded a rainfall deficit of 14% (2015) and 12% (2014).

The season began late this year, arriving in Kerala on 8 June, delayed by eight days and in the third week of June in central India. However, with the exception of a few areas, the country on an average received good rainfall. An 11% deficit was recorded in June, while July saw a surplus of 7%, followed by a 7% deficit in August.

“The distribution and quantum of rainfall in September was better than that of August. This will prove to be very conducive for crops," said N. Chattopadhyay, deputy director general, agricultural meteorology division of the India Meteorological Department.

Excess rainfall led to floods in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Maharashtra.

Deficit rainfall in Karnataka led the state government to declare drought in 22 districts. The state has also received central assistance of Rs1,540 crore towards losses in its kharif harvest.

Around 81% of India received normal to excess rainfall, while 16% remains in deficit. Although the monsoon season ended, rainfall will continue in parts of central India and in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the coming week.

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