Saturday, June 22, 2024

Tornadoes, floods, heatwaves and freezes – the extreme weather around the world this weekend

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Deadly tornadoes in Texas, fatal flooding in Afghanistan, scorching heat in India and record-breaking cold in Chile – the world is facing the effects of dangerous and extreme weather this weekend.

In the US, tornadoes swept through areas of Houston, killing at least seven people and knocking out the power to nearly one million homes and businesses.

Fierce storms with winds of up to 100mph blew out windows and now, the area faces a smog warning and temperatures climbing to 32.2C (90F).

In Afghanistan, flooding on Friday killed at least 68 people in the west of the country, according to a Taliban official.

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Flash floods kill at least 68 people in Afghanistan

In the hard-hit province of Ghor, hundreds of hectares of agricultural land were destroyed, including in its capital city Feroz Koh.

The floods come a week after more than 300 people were killed during flooding in the northern province of Baghlan.

A woman walks under an umbrella as protection from severe heat in New Delhi, India on 18 May. Pic: AP
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Scorching temperatures in India triggered a severe weather alert. Pic: AP

In India, scorching temperatures triggered a severe weather alert covering the capital New Delhi and areas in the northwest. Parts of New Delhi are reporting temperatures of up to 47.1C (116.8F).

The extreme temperatures in northern India coincide with a six-week-long general election, with experts worried the heatwave could increase health risks as people wait in long queues to cast their vote or candidates campaign aggressively outdoors.

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One minister fainted due to heat last month while addressing an election rally in the state of Maharashtra.

Satish Kumar, a 57-year-old rickshaw driver in the capital, said his work was suffering because of the heat.

“People are not coming outside, [the markets] are nearly empty,” he said.

A vendor hands a customer a cup of coffee in Santiago, Chile 17 May 2024. Pic: AP
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A vendor hands a customer a cup of coffee as Santiago endures the cold. Pic: AP

On the other end of the extreme, Chile is preparing for its coldest autumn in 70 years.

Temperatures plummeted this week and in the capital Santiago, it is now the coldest May the country has faced since 1950.

Chile’s government issued cold weather alerts for most of the country and ramped up assistance for homeless people struggling to endure the frigid temperatures on the streets.

A partially submerged camper stranded on a flooded street following heavy rains, in Saarbruecken, Saarland, Germany. Pic: THW Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland via X
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A flooded street in Germany. Pic: Reuters/THW Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Saarland via X

And areas of Italy, France and Germany are partially submerged as heavy rain caused flash floods across parts of Europe.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz toured flooded regions on Saturday after houses and cellars were flooded, streets were filled with water and cars were partially submerged.

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The German weather service has since lifted a weather alert as rain is expected to ease slowly.

Authorities in Saarland said such flash flood only happen every 20 to 50 years.

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