Italy has been hit by torrential rain and deadly floods since May 16, 2023, mainly in the Emilia-Romagna region in the north of the country.
In just 36 hours, the equivalent of six months' rainfall fell, causing extensive damage, including the overflowing of some twenty rivers, turning streets into mud streams and flooding much farmland.
More than 36,000 people were evacuated, and 2,600 were accommodated in hotels, gymnasiums and schools. In terms of human casualties, 14 people were killed, and the region suffered considerable economic damage and losses, estimated at 620 million euros to restore the road network alone, following the closure of more than 600 roads.
The River Po in Turin also overflowed its banks on Sunday May 21 as a result of the heavy rains, with accumulations reaching 200 to 3,000 mm, according to local media.
On May 17, 2023, Bosnia was hit by heavy downpours, causing rivers to overflow their banks and causing severe flooding.
According to Red Cross reports, the flooding affected around 10,000 people, displacing 10 and injuring 10.
A state of emergency was declared due to the overflow of the flooded Una River, causing the region to flood with a river level 20 cm higher than ever recorded before.
In Sanski Most, 15 houses were flooded, forcing residents to evacuate and creating an urgent need for help. Local authorities also highlighted the considerable scale of the flooding in Bosanska Krupa, where almost 800 buildings were submerged.
In central Afghanistan, heavy rains have caused tragic flooding, resulting in the deaths of six people and the destruction of over a hundred homes. A house was washed away in the town of Firuzkoh, killing three women and a child.
These floods add to the already devastating humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, where 22.8 million people, more than half the population, are facing acute food insecurity.
A large-scale forest fire broke out in western Spain, in the Extremadura region on the border with Portugal. Authorities evacuated almost 700 people as the fire was described as "out of control". The fire broke out near the municipality of Pinofranqueado and spread rapidly, prompting the evacuation of several neighboring communities.
According to the National Security Directorate, more than 12,000 hectares were covered by flames before the fire stabilized on Saturday May 20, 2023. To fight the flames, 600 firefighters, 10 heavy equipment vehicles and 19 airborne resources were mobilized.
After gaining strength in the southwest Pacific, Typhoon Mawar hit the US island of Guam on Wednesday May 24.
Classified as a category 4 supertyphoon on a scale of 5, it generated violent winds of up to 225 km/h on this Pacific territory, causing extensive damage such as uprooted trees, overturned vehicles, blown solar panels and gigantic waves.
According to the U.S. National Weather Service (NWS), Typhoon Mawar poses a triple threat: destructive winds equivalent to those of a Category 5 hurricane, a very high storm surge and torrential rainfall. A weather alert is still in place for the island's 170,000 inhabitants, and so far, Typhoon Mawar is considered the most powerful weather event of 2023.
Deluvian rains hit the city of Madrid in Spain on Monday May 29, causing large quantities of water to pour down.
According to the "El País" newspaper, around 30 liters of water per square meter fell in just half an hour, saturating parts of the sewage system and flooding the streets.
The Spanish capital's metro system was particularly hard hit, with flooded stations and traffic disruptions on some lines. Freeways were also severely affected by the accumulation of water, causing heavy traffic jams.
The municipal and regional authorities set the flood action plan on yellow alert, in anticipation of heavy rain and thunderstorms. The alert was quickly upgraded to orange due to the intensity of the rainfall.