Germany floods: Surprise Devastation
More than 157 people died in the floods that were caused by torrential rain in southern and western Germany as well as parts of Belgia. Police and local authorities claim that thousands more are still missing. According to Xinhua news agency, the federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia (43 people) and Rhineland-Palatinate (60 people) were particularly hard hit.
“It’s a national disaster,” Malu Dreyer (minister-president of Rhineland-Palatinate), said at a Friday press conference, adding that “people are able to count on all forces within the country to stand together.”
Flooding can be caused by many factors, but extreme rain is more common due to a warmer atmosphere.
The world has warmed by 1.2C since the Industrial Era began. Temperatures will continue rising unless there are drastic cuts made to carbon emissions by governments all over the globe.
Prof Cloke stated that the nature of the storm was extreme and that it contained a lot of moisture. There was also a lot more rain than normal. This is evidence that such storms are more likely.
“This is one thing you can expect to see in a changing climate.”
Professor Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University’s climate change impacts explained that global warming causes a slowing of the jet stream, which makes storms slower moving. However, the warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture.
She said that extreme rainfall events would increase and become more common.
After heatwaves brought record-breaking temperatures to North America, the flooding follows.
Professor Fowler stated that countries should redesign their infrastructure to deal with such events.
The Netherlands was put on alert after rivers overflowed in villages and towns around Limburg, the southern province.
Around 1,300 people are reported missing in Ahrweiler, and around 3,500 are currently being cared for in facilities. The district posted via Twitter that “a final assessment is not yet possible due to the complex damage situation.”
Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia’s minister-president, stated that it would be necessary to find ways to get roads and bridges up and running again. “Great national efforts are needed to quickly remove the worst offenders.”
Rhineland-Palatinate will be impacted by more storms and heavy rains.
The German Weather Service (DWD), warned of thunderstorms that could bring down precipitation amounts between 15 and 25 liters/square meters, hail, and gale-force winds.
Over the past week, heavy rains and major flooding have ravaged western Europe. Bad weather also caused severe damage to buildings and other infrastructure in affected areas.
On Monday, the Bernd Cyclone brought down the downpour to Germany. The rescue operation involves both emergency services and the Bundeswehr forces.
Source: India.com and BBC