Floods ravage Europe

Floods ravage Europe
Floods ravage Europe Central and Eastern European countries are hit by extreme floods. Photo: publicdomainpictures, Pixabay.

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Central and Eastern European countries are hit by extreme floods, disruption to roads and other infrastructures, injuries and deaths, following massive thunderstorms and rainfall. The ravage in France, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and the Czech republic is shocking.

Switzerland

In Switzerland intense rainfall has caused massive flooding, loss of life, and as-yet uncalculated economic damage. On 21 June a rockslide hit a group of houses in Lostallo in the Swiss Alpine valley of Misox in Graubünden. The Swiss authorities, according to the Associated Press, said that a segment of the A13 motorway leading to Italy had been completely submerged and destroyed by flooding. This major route is likely to remain closed between the heavily used San Bernardino Pass and Roveredo for several months, the press agency reported.

At the moment the weather is mainly causing problems in the cantons of Wallis and Ticino, on the Italian border. Rivers flood and a lot of water runs through villages and towns in the valley. A bridge over the River Maggia collapsed due to the pressure of the water. In the canton of Valais, water flowed through the streets of Zermatt.

Italy

Further along the Italian border, the Simplon Pass is closed for the time being due to the severe weather. The Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna and Parma are experiencing serious floods. In the Parma region, entire streets and neighborhoods are flooded and cars are swept away by the water.

France

In Eastern France, severe weather has claimed the lives of three people in the Aube department. Other places in France were also hit by severe weather and heavy rain, especially in the northeast and southwest. The Rhone River is overflowing the A9 motorway following the storms that caused major flooding, in Sierre, Switzerland.

Germany  

In Germany devastating floods occurred due to intense rainfall. The casualties caused several fatalities and significant economic damages. Chancellor Olaf Scholz, visiting a village in one affected area, said that “we can see here what violence nature can cause and how much we have to constantly prepare for such events.” Germany has faced worsening floods in recent years. In May 2024 the state of Saarland witnessed its worst flooding in nearly three decades. The capital Saarbruecken was badly affected and a breach in a dyke led to a power station in the state being shut down.

Czech republic

Storms and heavy rain also struck parts of the Czech Republic this month. The southwest of Bohemia was worst affected, with several rivers reaching flood stages and overflowing.

Climate change

Climate change has made heatwaves, floods, droughts and wildfires more common in Europe during the summer months, and May 2024 was the twelfth consecutive month with record-high temperatures, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) the European Environment Agency said. In 2018 central and northern Europe were hit by extreme drought. And in 2021 Due to heavy rainfall there are summer flood warnings in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The floods hit the Eifel mountain region of western Germany and eastern Belgium which left more than 200 people dead. And the same year more than 130 lives were lost in the Ahr valley some 30km south of Bonn.

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