"The dry spell leaves 15 sub-districts parched, and the number of affected villages has increased," Edy Basuki, head of the Gunungkidul disaster mitigation office, said here on Monday.
Of the 15 sub-districts, the sub-districts of Girisubo, Paliyan, Rongkop, Panggang, and Tepus are the worst affected.
In Girisubo, drought has affected eight villages having 21,718 population, in Paliyan six villages with 16,978 inhabitants, Ronkop eight villages with 9,922 residents, in Panggang six villages with 8,310 people, and Tepus five villages with 12.441 inhabitants.
The Gunungkidul district administration has increased the disaster alert status to anticipate drought to get worse.
Lt Col Noppy Laksana Armiyanto, commander of the Gunung Kidul military command has deployed his personnel to help find water sources and install pipelines to deal with water crisis in affected villages.
Earlier this year, the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) reminded the regional authorities to step up their vigilance over possible forest fires and droughts as this year's dry season was forecast to be drier than that of the previous year.
The extreme dry season has affected several areas since May and is expected to last until September, with the condition likely to peak in August.
In the beginning, dry spells were reported mostly on Java Island. Currently, drought has cast a pall over 100 districts and cities in the provinces of Aceh, West Java, Central Java, Yogyakarta, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), according to the Indonesian Agriculture Ministry's data.
"Most parts of Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara have not received rains for over 30 days. Drought has affected some 100 districts and cities," Sarwo Edhy, director general for agriculture infrastructure and facilities at the Agriculture Ministry, revealed on July 8, 2019, following a coordinating meeting to discuss mitigation efforts. (Antara)