Heavy rainfall and flooding have affected different parts of the world in 2022, sometimes with catastrophic consequences. The world only just witnessed the devastation caused by floods in Pakistan, which left one third of the country under water and killed more than 1000 people. An article in The Guardian runs through some of the regions most recently impacted by floods, from Australia to Nigeria, floods that will likely become more common as global temperatures continue to rise.
Nigeria has experienced the worst floods in a decade, with more than 600 casualties and 1.3 million people displaced. Besides heavier than usual rainfall, several factors contributed to the disastrous impact, including land use planning, poor disaster management and inaction by the authorities.
In south-east Australia, heavy rainfall and riverine flooding has affected the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. The floods have affected properties and native wildlife are fleeing the flood waters. Intense rainfall in areas where the soils were saturated after two years of wet La Niña summers have led to flooding. Sydney is experiencing its wettest year on record, while parts of southern and central NSW have set October rainfall records. This occurs just half a year after heavy rain and flash floods affected the country’s east coast from Queensland to NSW.
In south-east Asia, unusually intense monsoon rains and flooding have killed dozens of people and displaced thousands last week. Floods have impacted 450,000 homes and damaged 100,00 hectares of agricultural land in Thailand, also disrupting tourism in the resort island of Phuket. Floods have also ravaged Vietnam and Cambodia.
Flooding events and landslides have also been reported in the state of Aragua, on the central coast of Venezuela. At least 54 casualties were reported on October after a mudslide swept through the town of Las Tejerías, where as much as 35 days’ worth of average rainfall fell in one day.
“We are heading into a disaster...we have waged war on nature, and nature is striking back, and striking back in a devastating way”, warned U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during his visit to Pakistan last September. Mr Guterres stressed the need for “effective solidarity and effective justice” to be shown by the international community to countries affected by disasters, which in many cases are developing countries that have done almost nothing to contribute to global warming.