Europe facing its worst drought in 500 years: EU agency

TEHRAN, Aug. 24 (MNA) – Europe is facing its worst drought in at least 500 years, with two-thirds of the continent in a state of alert or warning, reducing inland shipping, electricity production and the yields of certain crops, an EU agency said.

The August report of the European Drought Observatory (EDO), overseen by the European Commission, said 47% of Europe is under warning conditions, with clear deficit of soil moisture, and 17% in a state of alert, in which vegetation is affected.

"The severe drought affecting many regions of Europe since the beginning of the year has been further expanding and worsening as of early August," the report said, adding that the western Europe-Mediterranean region was likely to experience warmer and drier than normal conditions until November, France 24 reported.

Much of Europe has faced weeks of baking temperatures this summer, which worsened the drought, caused wildfires, set off health warnings, and prompted calls for more action to tackle climate change.

The current drought appeared to be the worst in at least 500 years, assuming final data at the end of the season confirmed the preliminary assessment, the Commission said in a statement.

Summer crops have suffered, with 2022 yields for grain maize set to be 16% below the average of the previous five years and soybean and sunflower yields set to fall by 15% and 12% respectively. 

MA/PR

News Code 190597

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