Last week seemed to be a time of odd happenings. For the first time in a long time, the news channels looked like they were having a field day trying to report the number of unexpected, and devastating climatic changes that suddenly seemed to be happening all over the world. Let’s take a look at the weird weather of a previous couple of days.
Floods in France
Heavy flash floods hit France on 10th August, forcing the evacuation of nearly 1600 citizens, even as many others were affected. Most of these Samaritans were campers from Southern France. A 70-year old man who was supervising the evacuation of the campers went missing. Gard, Ardeche, and Drome were the most affected areas. The truly surprising fact is that these floods have come after a period of unusually hot weather in most of Europe, including Southern France.
Floods in Kerala
The southern coastal state of Kerala has been reeling under the worst natural disaster in nearly a century, as floods have claimed life and property. The death toll has risen to 40 and many more have been displaced. Nearly 20000 homes and 10000 kilometres of state roads have been damaged and the total cost of damages have been estimated to be over Rs. 8000 crores.
The unstoppable rains have forced the Government to open up all the gates of the Idukki reservoir dam, for the first time in history. The dam, built across the Periyar River, is the biggest arch dam in Asia.
A stationary, high-pressure weather system caused a sweaty breakout in most of continental Europe and UK. Spain experienced the highest temperature of 48ׄC, while in Portugal, the maximum was 47.9ׄC. The heat proved to be too high for some people who died of sunstroke. Abundant precautions were taken across the continent, with the Netherlands shutting down parts of its motorways and France closing down the operations of a nuclear reactor, in order to avoid using the high-temperature river water used to cool the reactor.
A mudslide hit the Swiss village of Grugnay in the municipality of Chamoson last Tuesday. No injuries were reported, the word is that the catastrophe was caused by storms caused a river to expand and burst its banks. Although the Swiss locals are used to the sight of mud rolling down hills, even the veterans were surprised by the intensity of this most recent disaster.
All this serves as ample evidence that the world weather is indeed going through a rough phase. The cause, no doubt, is a human whim. Will it be combated, though? It is said, after all, that the ends justify the means.