The local media quoted Deputy Director-General for Operations of the Meteorological Department Kornrawee Sitthichivapak as saying that 43 provinces in the north, northeast, and central regions will be the hardest hit, and the most crucial period will be from January to February as water reserves are low.
She said there is unlikely to be any rain until May as high temperatures and the climate condition known as El Nino prevail.
The lowest rainfall ever recorded was in 1979. This year is likely to be worse than in 1995 and in 2015-2016.
As water level in the Chao Phraya Dam reservoir is very low, Minister of Agriculture and Cooperatives Chalermchai Sri-on has ordered the Royal Irrigation Department to install more pumps to divert freshwater from the Mae Klong river to the Chao Phraya river, to hold back seawater.