Heavy rains across the globe are destroying homes and killing people at an alarming rate as officials and rescue workers scramble to control the situation in the wake of climate change further intensifying over the planet.
Earlier today, the death toll in Kentucky, USA, rose to 37 with rescue workers trying to look for hundreds more missing. Officials stated that the death toll could further rise. The heavy rains have triggered mudslides, caused streams, creeks and rivers to overflow, collapsing bridges and destroying homes.
Rainfall in some of Kentucky’s eastern counties measured up to two inches per hour. According to the Weather Service meteorologist, some of the rain also stretched into parts of Tennessee.
“The ground is saturated,” Brendon D. Miller, the Breathitt County attorney, said on the county’s emergency management Facebook page late on Sunday. “It can’t take much rain. But let’s hope and pray that we get a reprieve and not much further rain that will affect us.”
In another part of the world, Iran is also slowly reeling from weeks of devastating floods that wreaked havoc in July. A total of 69 people died according to Nejad Jahani, deputy with the Iran crises management organization.
Another 23 people, all tourists, also lost their lives when they were sitting along or within the dried-up rivers and were suddenly swept away in the town of Estahban, the southern west province of Fars just before the month of July.
24 of Iran’s 31 provinces were affected by the floods with 45 people still missing and 20,000 homes were left damaged. Harrowing footage from social media showed scenes of homes and streets drowned in mud with cars destroyed as a result of the strong currents.
The ruins caused by the floods have led to a damage of roughly $200 million in agriculture, according to the agriculture minister Javad Sadatinejad.
Neighboring country Pakistan is also bearing the brunt of heavy rainfall in the last few weeks. Flash floods have claimed the lives of more than 140 people. Another 478 people were also killed in rain related incidents back in June.
The rescue workers backed by the military have evacuated thousands of people from southwest Baluchistan. 37,000 homes have been destroyed since June 17th and more floods are still expected to come.
Africa’s Uganda too, reported deaths of people caused by floods. 24 people were killed in parts of Bugisu, Mbale and Kapchorwa. Another 300,000 people are affected by floods and landslides in Bududa and Sironko districts. The UN office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs stated that 65,000 people are now displaced.
Such similar events in different countries have raised several questions and studies by scientists around the world show that the water cycle has been intensifying and will continue to intensify as the planet warms.
Several factors are responsible for intensifying the water cycle, but the most poignant one is that warming temperatures are raising the upper limit on the amount of moisture in the air. This leads to more potential for rain.
Rainfall intensity will increase for most land areas. The largest increases in dryness are expected in the Mediterranean, southwestern South America and western North America.
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