US hit by worst drought since 1950s (Lead)

July 20th, 2012 - 4:31 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, July 20 (IANS) The US has been hit by the worst drought since 1950s, with almost two thirds of the country toiling it out, a report said.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Thursday that the continental US is facing the worst drought since December 1956, Xinhua reported.

“Indicators suggest that the 2012 drought is similar to the 1950s drought in extent, pattern, and intensity, although not in duration,” the NOAA report said.

Another report by National Drought Mitigation Centre showed 42 percent of the US is in severe or extreme drought, and 80 percent of the land surface is abnormally dry.

It said, as of Tuesday, 64 percent of the US is experiencing at least moderate drought, as the condition expanded for the 10th consecutive week.

The centre said drought conditions are not expected to improve and may worsen in the hardest hit areas through July, with dry weather and excessive heat in the midsection.

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