HD Weather News #58

June 16, 2023
3-5 minutes

Flooding in Haiti

During the first weekend of June 2023, Haiti was hit hard by devastating floods and landslides. The town of Leogane, in the Ouest department, was particularly hard hit, with a provisional death toll of 20 according to initial estimates.

The torrential rains caused extensive material damage. In human terms, at least 42 people have lost their lives and 11 are missing in seven of the country's departments. According to the United Nations, more than 13,000 people were forced to leave their homes.

In material terms, more than 7,400 families have suffered considerable damage, with flooding destroying hundreds of homes and damaging roads. Civil Protection reports that some streets have turned into veritable muddy rivers. In response to this critical situation, the Haitian authorities have activated the National Emergency Operations Center.

This disaster highlights the country's vulnerability to natural disasters and underlines the shortcomings in risk prevention.


Flooding in Ecuador

Following heavy rains on Saturday June 3, more than 1,500 people were evacuated from northwestern Ecuador due to severe flooding. Sustained rainfall for 12 consecutive hours caused six rivers to burst their banks, affecting more than 12,000 people in the region. The four cantons most affected are Atacames, Esmeraldas, Muisne and Quinindé.

The floods displaced almost 12,000 people, leaving many families homeless. Around 3,000 homes, 21 schools and 4 health centers were flooded in the province of Esmeraldas. Fortunately, no fatalities have been reported to date.

Given the scale of the damage, over 600 military and police personnel have been mobilized in this province bordering Colombia. The authorities have also responded by sending humanitarian aid to the coastal province of Esmeraldas to support those affected.


Drought record in Denmark

Denmark is currently experiencing a drought unprecedented since 2006.

In fact, the country has seen no precipitation for more than two weeks, a 17-year record. A series of 14 consecutive days without precipitation was recorded in 2007 and 2008.

This period of drought is also being observed throughout the Scandinavian region in late spring, considerably increasing the risk of forest fires, including in Sweden. This situation is exceptional for a country such as Denmark, which is generally characterized by abundant rainfall.

The risk management agency Beredskabstyrelsen has confirmed that May 2023 was the driest month in fifteen years in Denmark. Forecasts indicate that precipitation is likely to remain low or non-existent over the coming weeks, increasing the risk of forest fires.

Heatwave in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is currently experiencing the longest heatwave in 50 years. This situation has led to the closure of thousands of schools and a reduction in electricity production, despite high demand, due to the country's economic difficulties.

South Asia has been hard hit by the heat wave, with temperatures in excess of 40 degrees Celsius in the capital, Dhaka. The most vulnerable populations are the first to suffer the consequences of this historic heatwave.

The heatwave began in April, continued into May and then eased off before picking up again in June.  According to Bazlur Rashid of the Bangladesh Meteorological Department: "Bangladesh experiences heat waves every summer, but this year's heat wave is unusual. In the past, a heatwave would only last a few days or even a week, but this year, they lasted more than two weeks".

On June 3, the Dinajpur district in northern Bangladesh recorded a temperature of 41.3 degrees, the highest recorded since 1958.

According to a recent study by the World Weather Attribution initiative, the extreme heatwaves that hit Bangladesh, as well as India, Laos and Thailand in April, have been made at least 30 times more likely due to climate change.

Storms in Pakistan

Extreme weather conditions caused major disruption and loss of life in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, located in northwest Pakistan, during the days of June 10 and 11, 2023, according to statements from disaster management authorities.

Bannu district experienced a rainfall accumulation of 27 mm in the space of 24 hours on June 11, 2023. In the village of Kakul, located in Tehsil and Abbottabad district, 38 mm of rain was recorded during the same period.

The tragic consequences of this bad weather were particularly felt in several villages in the Bannu district, where at least 15 people lost their lives and 100 others were injured. Some 68 houses were damaged or destroyed, resulting in the loss of dozens of head of livestock.

In addition, on Monday, the Pakistani authorities began evacuating more than 80,000 people following the arrival of cyclone Biparjoy, which is expected to hit India and Pakistan in the next few days and could be accompanied by winds of up to 120 km/hour.

Flooding in Cuba

Flooding hit the provinces of Granma, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba and Camagüey following heavy rains that lasted from June 8 to 9, 2023. According to the Cuban Meteorological Institute (INSMET), Bartolomé Masó and Jiguani, in Granma province, recorded 360 mm and 280.3 mm of rain respectively in the 24 hours preceding June 9.

Contramaestre, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, received 248 mm of rain, while Vertientes, in the province of Camagüey, recorded 237 mm over the same period.

Thousands of homes were affected, including 279 that were totally destroyed. Nearly 8,000 people were displaced and, according to the authorities and the official press, 6 people lost their lives.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel described the event as "undoubtedly atypical".