Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Devastating floods in Asia

The June to September rainy season is vital for agriculture and for the replenishment of water reserves, but the heavy rains also do a great deal of harm each year.

In the second half of July, at least 650 people lost their lives in the monsoon rains in Southern Asia. More than 10 million people were at risk in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal, floods destroyed tens of thousands of homes and one third of Bangladesh was flooded.

People use a makeshift raft to rescue their valuables from their homes flooded by monsoon rain in Hyderabad, Pakistan Photo: MTI/EPA/Nadeem Khawer

In India, a country of 1.3 billion people, at least 460 deaths have been reported in recent weeks. A disaster management official has reported that in a single day, 37 people were hit by lightning in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. On 25 July, seven hundred people had to be rescued from a flood by helicopter and rescue boats from an express train near Mumbai.

Pedestrians hold hands to help each other in a Mumbai street flooded by monsoon rain Photo: MTI/AP/Rajanish Kakade

The situation is also catastrophic in the north of Vietnam, where the rain and floods caused by Typhoon Wipha has cost a number of lives. In the district of Quan Son, an entire village was
destroyed by the flood.

Typhoon Wipha hit the coast on 1 August in Quand Ninh province, home of the UNESCO World Heritage site Halong Bay and the neighbouring city of Haiphong. Around 800 soldiers from the army and national militia have been deployed to assist with disaster relief.

A cyclist and several people on scooters in pouring rain in the Vietnam capital Hanoi, two days after Typhoon Wipha hit the Southeast Asian country Photo: MTI/EPA/Minh Hoang

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

The moment caught in the act – Ice melting through the eyes of a nature photographer

“Ice is the canary in the global coal mine. It’s the place where we can see and touch and hear and feel climate change in action.” Internationally recognised nature photographer James Balog believes it is extremely important to pay attention to the processes underway in the polar regions.

Dutch use innovative device to protect against sea level rise

Rising sea levels caused by climate change and global warming are an increasing threat to the Netherlands, so the Dutch have started using an innovative device, a storm surge barrier to protect against them. The world’s largest storm surge barrier was built in the south of the country, at Maeslantkering.

Switzerland’s glaciers have lost 10 percent of their ice mass in five years

The melting of glaciers has broken new records in Switzerland this year; they lost two percent of their ice mass this summer, while over the last five years, they have lost 10 percent of their volume altogether, which is unprecedented in the existing records spanning over 100 years.

Typhoon Hagibis wreaks tremendous destruction

The typhoon raging in Japan has claimed more than fifty lives; the number of injured has exceeded two hundred.

Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones – what’s the difference?

As a result of climate change, humanity is expected to face growing numbers of destructive storms in the future.

An important agricultural region is the latest victim of climate change

The rising sea levels and melting permafrost caused by climate change are causing crisis situations in a number of places around the world, resulting in tens of thousands of people having to leave their homes, while important agricultural areas also fall victim to the changes.

A new sign of the climate crisis: tens of thousands of meltwater lakes were found in Antarctica

Climate change is causing severe problems in Antarctica, too: recently, a piece of ice weighing 315 billion tonnes broke off the area, while scientists investigating satellite images covering an area of 5 million square kilometres found tens of thousands of meltwater lakes, which indicates severe problems.

State of emergency declared in Montana due to early snow

Massive snowstorms hit a number of north-western and northern states of the USA on 29 September.

Monsoon claims over a hundred lives in India

Monsoon rain accompanied by storms and lightning hit the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India on 27 September. Tempestuous winds toppled trees and utility poles and tore off roofs, killing more than a hundred people.

Mont Blanc glacier in Italy threatened to collapse

On 24 September, the Fondazione Montagna Sicura (Safe Mountain Foundation) issued an avalanche warning on the Planpincieux Glacier, which is located on the eastern slope of the Grandes Jorasses peak.