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El Nino Is So Last Year, Here Comes La Nina to Wreak More Havoc

As the effects of the most severe El Nino in almost 20 years still reverberate around the world, preparations are already under way for La Nina.

Indonesia is set to distribute water pumps to farmers and assessing its rice stockpiles in anticipation of the weather event materializing in October, Agriculture Minister Amran Sulaiman told reporters in Jakarta on Wednesday. La Nina, sometimes thought of as El Nino’s opposite, typically brings more rainfall to the region, threatening crops with flooding and delaying harvests. Australia says El Nino has peaked and there’s a chance of its counterpart occurring in the second half of the year.

El Nino has hampered cocoa crops in Ivory Coast, curbed the monsoon in India and forced the Philippines to import more rice. Indonesia deployed planes last year for artificial rain to help alleviate drought conditions that restricted palm oil output and exacerbated forest fires that engulfed the region in haze. Based on the 26 El Nino events since 1900, about 50 percent have been followed by a neutral year with 40 percent by La Nina, Australia’s weather bureau said Tuesday.

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