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Extreme rainfalls

 

By FLORO MERCENE

 

SINCE the 1990s, scientists have predicted based on cli­mate models that the intensity of extreme rain events around the world will increase with ris­ing global temperatures. Water is the big killer and often water does the most damage washing away infrastructure and lives. Scientists warn that unpredictable and extreme weather events are likely to become more frequent due to climate change. The recent series of flooding events during this monsoon season in Asia show it is really happening.

Flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains have killed dozens of people and displaced more than a million people in northeast India and Bangladesh.

In Kerala, India’s southern state, starting from May to August re­ceived extreme heavy monsoon rainfall, which is above normal. Six of the seven major reservoirs in the State had over 90% storage. Fi­nally, the catchment areas of major reservoirs in the State received the unprecedented extreme rainfall. Killed more than 400 and a million people were evacuated.

A dam under construction in neighboring Laos, collapsed after heavy monsoon rains, sending deluge of water down to the vil­lages in Thailand along the river already swollen causing flash floods and landslides.

In Turkey, over 147 mm of rain fell in the city of Bandirma causing flash floods. Much of the rain fell in just a 1.5 hour period.

The strongest typhoon to hit Japan paralyzed major cities in the Kansai region, including Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe. About 8,000 passengers were stranded at the inundated Kansai Airport. Flights were cancelled as runways were flooded.

Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong) swept through Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Philippines and China bringing winds well over 200km/h, waves of up to 6 meters high and torrential rain. The storm caused widespread wind damage, flooding and land­slides.

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