Last week, parts of Asia experienced record temperatures, with dramatic consequences for local populations. Burma experienced an all-time high of 45°C, while India, Thailand and Laos recorded temperatures of 44°C and 43°C respectively. In Bangladesh, the temperature reached 40.6°C, the highest level since the 1960s. High temperatures in India caused the death of at least 13 people at an outdoor ceremony in the west of the country, while two people in Thailand died with temperatures reaching 44.6 degrees.
Local people are seeking refuge from the sweltering heat in shady areas, hoping for cooling rains. The most serious effects are on health, especially among vulnerable populations, with consequences such as dehydration, respiratory or skin disorders. Air pollution has become an even greater concern, exacerbated by emissions from transportation, industry and agricultural practices such as slash-and-burn. Bangkok residents have even been encouraged to stay indoors or wear FFP2 masks to protect themselves from the harmful effects of air pollution.
According to the Ukrainian state emergency service, several rivers have overflowed their banks and caused flooding in eight regions of the country. Since April 16, about 950 households have been affected by flooding in various regions. The state emergency service is working to pump water out of affected homes and yards, and evacuate residents from flooded homes. The most affected region is Chernihiv Oblast, where overflowing rivers such as Dnipro, Desna, Seim, Sozh and Vyt affected 474 households. In addition, transportation in many districts was interrupted, leaving 29 localities isolated. The state emergency service evacuated more than 200 people from flooded homes.
in addition, the floods damaged a large amount of agricultural land, with 7,198 hectares in Kamin-Kashirskyi and Kovelskyi in the Volyn Oblast, and 3,065 hectares in the Rivne region being flooded.
A fire of unprecedented proportions broke out on Sunday, April 16, on the heights of the communes of Cerbère and Banyuls-sur-Mer in the Pyrénées-Orientales. The tramontane, a north-west wind blowing at up to 100 km/h, fanned the flames which quickly spread over about 1,000 hectares of vegetation, making this the largest fire to occur in France since the beginning of the year. Firefighters were mobilized to fight the fire for five days, with the support of six water-bombing planes, to finally succeed in extinguishing it on Thursday 20 April in the early evening.
Approximately 500 firefighters were mobilized to fight the fire and 300 people were evacuated for safety reasons. No casualties or property damage were reported.
For the past week, Spain has been facing a historic drought after three years of low rainfall and high temperatures. More than 3.5 million hectares of crops have suffered irreversible losses and in Catalonia the situation is extremely worrying, as reservoirs are currently filled to only 25% of their capacity, compared to an average of 80% at this time of year. According to the UN, almost 75% of the Spanish territory is threatened by desertification, endangering the agricultural sector which absorbs more than 80% of the country's water resources. In fact, to cope with the water shortage, regional authorities have been forced to reduce the volume of water used for agriculture by 40%.
Concerning the temperatures, they are 15 to 20 degrees above the seasonal norms. Several records have been set, such as in Cordoba where the record was broken on 27 April with a temperature of 38.8°C, never seen before in mainland Spain for a month of April. Cities have activated their heat wave plans and measures have been put in place to help vulnerable populations. "Climate shelters".
Since the beginning of April 2023, several provinces in Angola have been affected by heavy rains and storms, causing extensive damage and flooding. At least 20 people, including many children, have lost their lives, and hundreds of families are homeless.
Luanda province suffered the most damage with five deaths, more than 300 trees downed, and approximately 1,200 homes flooded. The municipalities of Viana, Belas and Cazenga were also affected on April 18 and 19, killing five people and damaging approximately 1,700 homes.
The Luanda provincial government warned of further torrential rains and advised residents, especially children, to avoid floodwaters and drainage channels.