Rains on the early morning of May 6 saved thousands of hectares of crops suffering from prolonged drought in the Central Highlands provinces of Dak Lak and Gia Lai.

The precious rainfall also helped reduce the risk of forest fires and alleviate water supply shortages for local daily use.

According to Director of the Dak Lak provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Trang Quang Thanh, more than 50,000 hectares of crops in the province—including 40,000 hectares of coffee and 9,200 hectares of rice—had been damaged by May 4.

Drought has also led to five forest fires, killing two people and destroying tens of hectares of forests. More than 20,000 local households lack water for daily use.

Meanwhile in Gia Lai province, nearly 8,000 hectares of crops withered causing an estimated economic loss of nearly 100 billion VND (4.6 million USD).

According to the Central Highlands Hydro-Meteorological Station, this year’s rainy season is expected to start later than usual (near the end of May) and rainfall is to be below that of previous years across the region.-VNA