Long-term drought ‘a threat’ to Eastern Caribbean

Bridgetown – The Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) Friday warned of long-term drought that can “negatively” affect islands in the eastern Caribbean.

“Many parts of the region experienced above normal rainfall in March, bringing some relief from dry conditions since late 2021. Despite this, there are concerns over long-term drought that can negatively affect large rivers and reservoirs, and groundwater, by the end of May,” CIMH said in its latest issue of the Caribbean Drought Bulletin.

It said that the islands of the eastern Caribbean as well as Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao (ABC Islands) western Cuba and parts of Belize could be affected as a result and that the southern half of the eastern Caribbean and western Cuba should also monitor its streams, small rivers and ponds at least until end of July.

CIMH said that shorter term drought situation, by the end of May, might possibly develop or continue until the end of July in Barbados, western Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Martinique, St Lucia and St Vincent.

It said longer-term drought is evolving in the ABC Islands, Barbados, most of Belize, Dominica, Guadeloupe, St Kitts, and the United States Virgin Islands.

“Areas ending up in long-term drought by the end of May may experience significantly reduced water levels in large reservoirs, large rivers and ground water,” CIMH said, adding “we advise all stakeholders to keep monitoring their environment for signs of drought”. (CMC)

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