A few days ago, heavy floods hit western Europe, impacting Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Out of these three, Germany was the worst impacted. In Germany only, over a hundred and fifty people are missing and it is feared that they will not be found.
Germany has had to contend with entire towns being overwhelmed by the large volumes of water. The devastation impacted train lines and roads, destroying existing infrastructure. The federal disaster relief organisation of Germany expressed that it is improbable that more survivors would be located in the carnage. With that said, the search for missing people still continues. One of the worst hit German states, Rhineland-Palatinate, confirms that at least one hundred and twenty-five people have died with over a hundred and fifty still unaccounted for. In this respect, the death toll is expected to rise.
It is the concern of scientists that these developments have been spearheaded by the climate crisis which has accelerated these unwelcome and extreme conditions.
The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, explained the devastating situation as “surreal” emphasising that the German language does not have terms to express this disaster. The candidate set to succeed Merkel, Armin Laschet said that the floods represented a catastrophe of historic proportion and underlined that the world needs to accelerate its initiatives to combat climate change.
The recent disaster is not the first example of the dire impacts of climate change and global warming. Freak events have become more commonplace with the recent heatwave and wildfires in Canada and the United States serving as just one example. It is being emphasised that the impacts of global warming are being felt by everyone.
The Netherlands managed to survive most of the brunt of these with its excellent water management system and recorded no fatalities. That being said, a number of people extending to the tens of thousands had to be evacuated.
Germany had not recorded as much rainfall in a hundred years and the country is bracing itself for more. Although more rainfall is expected, it is anticipated that the worst is behind them. This is due to the fact that severe weather is expected to be local and short-term. It is not expected that they will have two days of continuous rain.
What do you make of the impacts of global warming? What can the world do to combat this latest threat?