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Floods hit different countries around the world, aggravated by climate change

Floods hit different countries around the world, aggravated by climate change

BrazilIndonesia, Afghanistan, Kenya…, different parts of the planet have been suffering for days from torrential rains and floods that have left hundreds of dead and hundreds of thousands displaced and which, as environmental experts have explained to EFE, are aggravated by the same factor: climate change.

Only in the south of Brazil have left nearly 150 dead, 130 missing and more than two million affected, in addition to causing the forced displacement of more than 600,000 people, although there are many who have preferred not to abandon their homes and barricade themselves on the upper floors, despite the threat of ending up swallowed by rising waters.

The historic center of Porto Alegre, regional capital of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, has been flooded for eleven days after the Guaíba River flooded and it is believed that the return to normality could take weeks, while other Brazilian towns are at risk. of going through the same thing despite taking measures such as reinforcing dams or installing water pumps in the canals to drain excess water.

Aerial view of flooding in Eldorado do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 9, 2024. (Photo by Carlos FABAL / AFP)

Aggravating

The head of climate and energy at WWF Spain, Mar Asunción, has explained that it cannot be linked “specific episodes” like that of Brazil exclusively to climate change because “Other local characteristics influence natural disasters”, such as deforestation and ecosystem degradation, and even international, such as the warming of the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean known as El Niño.

However, “What climate change does, and it has already been more than demonstrated, is to turn them into a trend by increasing the frequency and intensity of these extreme episodes and this is what we are seeing” in different parts of the planet where, as they are more repetitive, their impact is “consequently greater”.

The researcher of the Higher Council of Scientific Research Fernando Valladares has added that these events are mainly due to the fact that the oceans are no longer capable of storing the heat that arrives and produces the Earth and its exchange with the atmosphere, which favors global meteorological phenomena ““that are above the usual models and scientific predictions.”

These are authenticheat pumps that were already warned last year” and that in the current exercise are added to other circumstances such as volcanic eruptions and “It’s not a problem that can be fixed in a day.“, given that “This is a longer stage that especially affects equatorial and tropical areas.”.

Rescuers and villagers walk through an area flooded with mud after a flash flood in Tanah Datar, West Sumatra, Indonesia, on May 12, 2024. (Photo by EFE/EPA/GIVO ALPUTRA)
Rescuers and villagers walk through an area flooded with mud after a flash flood in Tanah Datar, West Sumatra, Indonesia, on May 12, 2024. (Photo by EFE/EPA/GIVO ALPUTRA)

In Africa and Asia

In Kenya, these days the floods have left nearly 300 dead, 75 missing and 190 injured, to which we must add some 285,000 victims, according to data from its Ministry of the Interior.

The long rainy season in East Africa, from March to May, has been intensified precisely by El Niño and, although forecasts point to a progressive reduction in rain, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has warned of the risk of new flooding due to high humidity levels

In Afghanistan, the death toll for the same reason amounts to more than 350 according to the Ministry of Refugees of the Taliban regime, which in addition to the search operations for those affected adds assistance to more than a thousand people injured by this incident.

More than 8,800 buildings have been totally or partially destroyed in recent days in a country especially vulnerable to extreme weather events, after decades of armed conflict.

In Indonesia, the authorities estimate that there have been more than fifty fatalities due to the recent floods, which have also left around twenty people missing in western Sumatra, in the west of the archipelago, where floods and landslides already left last month. March 26 dead and nearly 79,000 displaced.

The latest floods generated by the intense rain have also been aggravated by the release of cold lava from the Marapi volcano, which erupted last December, causing another 23 deaths.

Aerial view of a flooded area of ​​Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 8, 2024. (Photo by Nelson ALMEIDA / AFP)
Aerial view of a flooded area of ​​Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, taken on May 8, 2024. (Photo by Nelson ALMEIDA / AFP)

And in Spain?

In the case of Spain, Asunción warns “there are many factors and threats” aggravated by climate change, since “the rise in sea level in a country that is peninsular“until floods”increasingly unpredictable“caused by DANA – Isolated Depressions at High Levels – although the main problem ““It’s more like heat waves and droughts.”

Valladares agrees with her when stating that the heat “It is a global problem” that especially affects Spain and that allows it to predict, following the forecasts of the State Meteorological Agency, that “next summer will be very hard”.

Source: Gestion

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