This aerial image taken on July 16, 2021 shows the Maas River in Maaseik, northern Belgium, where the situation remains critical as the water continues to rise after heavy rains in the previous days.
- Last week saw a severe weather strike around the world.
- China and Europe are battling floods while the United States, Canada and Russia are experiencing massive fires.
- Experts say the worsening weather extremes are a consequence of the climate crisis.
- For more stories, visit the Business Insider website.
Extreme weather is affecting all parts of the world, demonstrating the vulnerability of human sectors due to natural disasters.
Some events—like the wildfires ravaging the western United States—are seasonal, while others come as a complete surprise.
China and Western Europe have been hit by devastating floods in the past week, and the death toll has crossed 100. In the wooded lands of Canada, the United States and Russia, vast tracts of land are set ablaze.
Deadly floods hit China
At least 16 people have died in severe flooding in the city of Zhengzhou, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
A video clip showed people trapped in a subway car that was flooded, and Reuters reported that a subway line was flooded with 12 of those killed. The pictures also show the roads completely submerged.
Western Europe flooded
At the same time, Germany, Belgium, and Austria were dealing with the effects of devastating floods that collapsed homes and turned roads into rivers.
As of Wednesday, the death toll stood at more than 200 in the wake of the floods that were more severe than at any time in decades.
The United Kingdom and Ireland are also experiencing heat waves. In the UK, the Met Office has issued its first warning of extreme temperatures.
Oregon battles wildfire
Oregon is battling a fire so big that it can be seen from space and creates its own weather.
The New York Times reports that the Bootleg Fire in the south of the state is the largest wildfire in the United States so far this year, and has burned more than 340,000 acres.
– African News Agency (AFP) 20 July 2021
Canada fights fire too
CBC reported that nearly 300 fires broke out across British Columbia on Tuesday, with evacuation orders affecting about 5,700 people.
Fires also broke out in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, according to Global News. Canada recently experienced its hottest day ever, in an intense heat wave that killed hundreds and drowned oysters in their shells.
Sarah Mayer (@sarahmayer) 20 July 2021
Siberia is also on fire
The Guardian reports that wildfires have burned 3.7 million acres of land in northeastern Siberia, Russia.
-AccuWeather (@accuweather) July 15 2021
Smoke covered cities and towns and forced the airport to close.
One person living in an affected village told The Guardian: “Emergency workers and villagers came also fighting the fires but they can’t put it out, they can’t stop it. Everything is burning.”
It is difficult to attribute individual weather events directly to the climate crisis. But experts are clear that long-term shifts in clades, caused by human activity, make such events more frequent and intense.