HDWN#64

October 2, 2023
3-5 minutes

Flooding in Greece

This Wednesday, September 27, storm Elias hit Greece, causing severe flooding. The town of Vollos, already hard hit by storm Daniel a few weeks ago, was once again hit by bad weather.

Torrential rains triggered spectacular flooding, leading to the evacuation of 250 people and hundreds of calls for help. Part of the city is now without power, many roads are blocked, and important buildings, including the city's second hospital, have been flooded.

The situation remains critical in this already vulnerable region, highlighting the serious consequences of extreme weather conditions.

It's a car and a street buried in mud.
ⓒ LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / REUTERS

River flooding - Mexico

On Monday September 25, in the western Mexican state of Jalisco, disaster struck the municipality of Autlan. The disaster was triggered by a flash flood of the El Cangrejo river, which tragically claimed at least seven lives, while nine people are still missing. Local authorities reacted swiftly to try to understand and deal with the disaster, which was caused by exceptional weather conditions.

The flooding of the river was preceded by torrential rains, which fell between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m., causing the river to swell rapidly. This sudden surge had devastating consequences as El Cangrejo burst its banks, submerging homes and endangering the lives of many local residents.

The geography of the region, marked by the San Juan Cacoma mountain range, exacerbated the effects of the torrential rains, creating conditions conducive to rapid and destructive flooding.

It's a river flooding through houses.
Ⓒ Sipa/AP/Moises Castillo

Torrential rains in South Africa

The South African province of the Western Cape was hit by heavy rain and strong winds over the weekend of September 23 and 24.

The high winds and torrential rains affected around 6,000 people and damaged some 1,500 buildings. Several dozen people had to be evacuated due to the exceptionally high rainfall levels recorded in the region between Sunday and Monday.

In terms of human casualties, eight shantytown residents, including four children, were killed by electrocution during the heavy rains, which caused flooding and landslides.

According to the authorities, the Cape region was hit by the worst flooding in a hundred years.

landscape of a city buried by a flood.
ⓒ AFP/Photos d’archives

Ophelia, Tropical Storm in North Carolina

On Friday, September 22, parts of coastal North Carolina and Virginia were hit hard by flooding caused by the impact of Tropical Storm Ophelia.

This storm made landfall near the barrier island of North Carolina, bringing heavy rains, destructive winds and dangerous waves. Initially, Ophelia made landfall near the Emerald Isle with near hurricane-force winds, reaching about 113 km/h.

By evening, the National Hurricane Center announced that Ophelia had slowed to a tropical depression, a less intense form of tropical storm, resulting in all storm surge and tropical storm warnings being lifted.

Power outages affected other states beyond North Carolina, where tens of thousands of homes and businesses remained without power in several eastern counties.

On Friday, as conditions deteriorated, five people, including three children aged 10 and under, had to be rescued by the Coast Guard from the water.

Fires in Sicily

In Sicily, a violent fire broke out on Friday September 22, burning hectares of forest in the north of the Italian island. Civil protection authorities and the media reported that, for several hours, a hotel accommodating 700 tourists had to be evacuated due to the imminent threat of flames.

The fires in northern Sicily are mainly attributed to the persistent drought and heatwave that has been raging in the region for several weeks. Temperatures have reached record levels, exceeding 40°C in some areas, making vegetation extremely vulnerable due to the lack of rainfall. This parched vegetation became easy fuel for the flames, which were fanned by strong winds, encouraging rapid spread.

In terms of human casualties, two people were killed in the forest fires in northern Sicily.

Flooding in New York

On Friday, September 29, heavy rain fell on the streets of New York, creating a chaotic situation. In less than three hours, the equivalent of a month's rain fell, flooding subways, roads and even basements. In fact, 220 mm of rain fell, a record total for the city.

The flooding paralyzed the New York megalopolis, leading to the cancellation of commuter trains and the closure of several subway lines. Some streets were submerged, with up to 30 centimetres of water in places. Motorists found themselves trapped on river-like roads, sometimes requiring rescue services to extricate them.

Even La Guardia airport was not spared, also suffering from flooding. The situation remains tense in the city, which is trying to cope with these exceptional weather conditions. The city's mayor, Eric Adams, issued an appeal for vigilance.