"That year the drought was much worse."
Translation:그해에 가뭄이 훨씬 나쁩니다.
I believe this is called Historical Present tense (역사적 현재) used frequently in story-telling. The aim is to get the audience 're-live' the moment, i.e. as if they were actually witnessing the situation. Hence, its other name Dramatic Present (극적 현재).
This tense is mostly used when talking about a marked (important) event.