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Texas suffers record drought

Texas is suffering its worst one-year drought in a century, amid a heatwave that has killed dozens of people across the American south and turned agricultural land into parched desert.

Dried up lake in Texas
Texas State Park police officer Thomas Bigham walks across the cracked lake bed of O.C. Fisher Lake Photo: AP

Last month was the hottest on record in the state, which has had only had 40 per cent of typical rainfall since January. Reservoirs and lakes are now bone dry, with billions of dollars worth of crops destroyed.

It is the most severely hit area in a million square miles – a third of the country excluding Hawaii and Alaska – suffering from drought, with "exceptional" dryness covering areas from Arizona to Georgia.

Wildfires have spread across many regions. Firemen are still tackling New Mexico's Las Conchas fire – the biggest in its history – which has blazed across 150,000 acres since June.

Meanwhile unprecedented demand for power to fuel air conditioners in Texas forced the state's electrical grid to cut off businesses and factories at the end of last week.

The drought was triggered by La Nina, the weather event that this year raised equatorial sea surface temperatures in the central Pacific by two to four degrees Fahrenheit.

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