With agricultural land and water drying up for millions of people, Mexico's northern states are suffering the worst drought conditions the country has seen during the 70 years since the government started recording rainfall in 1941.
The devastating drought has dried up drinking water for almost 2.5 million people, burned about 2.2 million acres of farmland, and led to the deaths of around 1.7 million head of cattle via starvation and thirst, according to reports.
The government is reportedly supplying water and food to poor farmers in 1,500 villages scattered across the nation's northern tier. What makes the situation even worse is a prediction that life isn't likely to get better soon as the next rainy season will come only after next June. And there is no guarantee of normal rains then, either, The Associated Press reported.
This is the most severe drought the country has registered, President Felipe Calderon said Thursday at a meeting with governors from the hardest-hit states, which include Durango, Zacatecas, Chihuahua, Coahuila, and San Luis Potosi.
These states get an annual average of 21 inches (542 millimeters) of rain, but this year they have received only 12 inches (308 millimeters), according to Mexico's National Weather Service.
Reports said the drought began when La Nina weather conditions arrived last fall, causing below-normal rainfall. The region didn't get much rainfall during the most recent hurricane season, which made the situation even more complicated, according to David Brown, regional climate services director for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Fort Worth, Texas.
Check out the pictures below of the sun-baked northern states of Mexico.