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Drought warning issued, region urged to take it seriously

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Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2020. 9:31 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Another regional agency has warned the Caribbean to prepare for a long drought this year.

The Barbados-based Caribbean Climate Outlook Forum (CariCOF), issued the warning this week in its latest Caribbean Climate Outlook. The outlook warns that long-term drought is evolving throughout the Caribbean during the three-month period of February to April this year, with only French Guiana and north-west Bahamas being exempt from
limited water availability.

Belize was listed among the countries warned about long-term drought along with ABC islands, Antigua, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, eastern Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad, and Tobago. The agency added that drought conditions are possible in other locations.

“In addition, frequent dry spells and short-term drought in a majority of places may pose water stress to sensitive, rain-fed crops,” CariCOF said.

CariCOF also said that there are concerns for flash flooding in Belize, and suspected April as the month those concerns would be highest.

The warning is the second such to be issued in the month of January and follows one issued by the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH). In 2019, Belize suffered from the worst drought in decades, according to authorities, taking over $50 million in losses to agricultural crops.

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