June 5, 2019 / 12:27 PM / 4 months ago

Monsoon rains to arrive on India's southern coast around June 8: weather office

FILE PHOTO: A fisherman casts his fishing net into the waters of a fish farm on a rainy day on the outskirts of Kochi, India May 29, 2017. REUTERS/Sivaram V

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Monsoon rains are likely to enter India through the southern coast around June 8, the weather office said on Wednesday, marking the start of the four-month rainy season that is crucial for the country’s farm-dependent economy.

Monsoon rains usually arrive on the southern tip of Kerala state around June 1 and retreat from the desert state of Rajasthan by September.

The state-run India Meteorological Department had earlier forecast arrival of monsoon rains over Kerala on June 6.

Millions of Indians are desperately awaiting overdue monsoon rains as they struggle to secure drinking water amid a heat wave that is rapidly drying up reservoirs and sending temperatures soaring across the country.

India is likely to see average monsoon rains this year, the weather office said last week, which should support agricultural production and economic growth in Asia’s third-biggest economy, where half of the farmland lacks irrigation.

Reporting by Rajendra Jadhav, editing by Louise Heavens

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