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Preventing water crises
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Preventing water crises

Extreme weather threatens more people than wars

Almost seven million people were forced to leave their homes by extreme weather events around the world during the first half of this year, which promises one of the most catastrophic years ever in that respect – reports the International Displacement Monitoring Centre (IMDC), an international centre headquartered in Geneva that tracks internal displacements worldwide.

The IDMC published its mid-year report about the period January–June 2019, based on data from governments, the humanitarian agencies of the UN and press reports, on 12 September.

According to IDMC, seven million people were forced to leave their homes due to extreme weather conditions, primarily storms and floods in the first half of
the year, and as the second half of each year usually has more adverse weather events, it is expected that the number
of displaced persons may triple, reaching up to 22 million people,
by the end of the year.

Motorcycles lie on a street in Puri after Cyclone Fani hit the State of Odisha in East-India on 3 May 2019,
as the cyclone moved westward across the Bay of Bengal with howling winds gusting up to 200 km/h
Photo: MTI/EPA

The report mentions Cyclone Fani, which forced 1.4 million to move in India and Bangladesh, as well as Cyclone Idai, which wrought tremendous destruction in Mozambique, Malawi, Zimbabwe and Madagascar. In Iran, almost 90 percent of the population were impacted directly by floods.

“In today’s changing climate, mass displacement triggered by extreme weather events is becoming the norm,” the IDMC emphasised in their report.

Head of the organisation Alexandra Bilak urged the international community to take action to turn the unfavourable process around and to provide assistance for the millions of people displaced within their countries.

According to the IDMC report, 3.8 million people have been forced to leave their homes by armed conflict, with the most people displaced in Syria, the Congo, Ethiopia and Yemen.

A Sudanese man transports his belongings on a truck during flash floods in Wad Ramli village on the eastern banks of the Nile some 45 kilometres north of the capital, Khartoum, on 25 August 2019 Photo: MTI/EPA/Amel Pain

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency

Further information: IDMC

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.

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