Monsoon arrives in India

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, May 27:

India’s annual monsoon rains, crucial for its farm-dependent economy, have arrived with the Andaman and Nicobar Islands receiving the first showers, an official said today. “The monsoon rains hit the Andaman Islands in the past 24 hours. The monsoon rains have arrived,” said SK Subramanian, deputy director general at the Indian Meteorological Department in New Delhi. “We have predicted the rains will reach Kerala on June 7 and hit the northern regions of the country by end-June,” he said. The June-September monsoon rains are vital to India’s economic fortunes with more than 60 per cent of India’s population depending on agriculture for a living. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written to state governments asking them to be fully prepared to tackle potential floods and droughts in coming months, Press Trust of India reported quoting his spokesman. About 1,000 people died and thousands displaced due to floods across India last year.