ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Meteorological Department’s (PMD) National Drought Monitoring Centre has released its third drought warning for the year.

According to a notification by the Met Office, below normal rainfall has been recorded over most of the southern parts of the country while major rainfall deficit was experienced in the province of Sindh (-71.9 per cent), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (-46.9 per cent) and Balochistan (-44.2 per cent) during the months of June to November.

About 19 districts of Sindh and 11 districts of Balochistan are facing moderate to severe drought, the notification further said.

Karachi, Hyderabad, Badin, Larkana, Sanghar, Dadu, Mityari, Shaheed Benzairabad, Mohenjodaro, Tharparkar, Jacobabad, Padidan, Thatta, Jamshoro, Qambar Shadadkot, Umerkot, Rohri, Khairpur and Sajwal are facing drought in Sindh.

In Balochistan, Quetta, Mastung, Gwadar, Awaran, Kech, Panjgur, Bolan, Kharan, Chagi, Noushki and Washuk are among the district’s facing drought. The Meteorological Department added, that the water availability in the Tarbela and Mangla dams is at its lowest in the last nine years i.e. half filled.

However, water storage of small dams situated in pothwar region is satisfactory. The Met Office has advised that keeping in view the climatology, dam’s situation and current seasonal forecast, drought conditions may exacerbate and affect the agriculture and livestocks in the above-said districts and can propagate to other districts as well.

Dry conditions will cause water stress in the cultivated lands and areas of the country due to the limited supply of irrigation water for Rabi crops, the PMD added.