Deadly heatwaves, floods and rising hunger far greater threat to the world than coronavirus
2019 was a record-breaking year for heat, and there was rising hunger, displacement, and loss of lives, due to extreme temperatures and floods around the world.
A heatwave in Europe was made five times more likely by global warming. India and Japan also sweltered, and Australia had “an exceptionally prolonged and severe fire season,” the WMO noted.
Floods and storms contributed most to displacing people from their homes, particularly Cyclone Idai in Mozambique and its neighbors, Cyclone Fani in south Asia, Hurricane Dorian in the Caribbean, and flooding in Iran, the Philippines, and Ethiopia. The number of internal displacements from such disasters is estimated to have been close to 22 million people in 2019, up from 17 million in 2018.
Therefore, policymakers need to urgently tackle climate action and act on resolving the severe impacts of extreme weather.
Southland floods are still taking a toll
The Southland has declared the State of Emergency as part of the evacuation efforts of residents from Gore, Mataura, and Wyndham (New Zealand). It may take months before some families in eastern Southland can return to their homes because of the flooding, which occurred in February, so many are staying with their friends and families.
There were concerns about winter feed shortages, availability of contractors, and the uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, however, bus convoys are now operating several times a day, to repair the main roads.
Emergency Management Southland, councils, and other stakeholders will meet on March 26 for discussing and taking the strategy related to ongoing flooding issues.