Extreme Weather Is Brutalizing Asia

foreignpolicy.com

Floods, droughts, tropical storms, and heat waves are severely testing the resilience of a region with a lot of vulnerable people.

Two people on a makeshift raft during flooding in Pakistan

Two people on a makeshift raft during flooding in Pakistan. People make their way along a waterlogged street in a residential area after a heavy monsoon rainfall in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on Aug. 24. AKRAM SHAHID/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

AUGUST 24, 2022, 5:07 PM

High temperatures, frequent droughts, torrential rains, and other extreme weather events this summer have throttled Asia, forced industries to shut down, slowed global business, disrupted food supplies, and upended the lives of ordinary people living in some of the world’s most populous countries and densely packed cities. 

For months, countries across the Asia-Pacific have been experiencing a mix of heavier rains and higher temperatures, creating unpredictable weather patterns. When the rains aren’t falling a lot—as in Pakistan, where eight monsoon cycles have left thousands of people homeless—they aren’t falling at all, causing energy shortages as droughts have seriously restricted access to hydroelectric power. Record-breaking temperatures in China, for example, have sparked intense wildfires in the country’s center and dried up rivers that cities bank on to power industries and homes.

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Climate Change made devastating early heat in India and Pakistan 30 times more likely

“The 2022 heat wave in India and Pakistan is an extreme weather event which has resulted in the hottest March in India since 1901. The hot season arrived unusually early in the year and extended into April, affecting a large part of India’s northwest and Pakistan”. Wikipedia

worldweatherattribution.org

Since the beginning of March, India and Pakistan and large parts of South Asia experienced prolonged heat, that at the time of writing, May 2022, still hasn’t subsided.

March was the hottest in India since records began 122 years ago and in Pakistan, the highest worldwide positive temperature anomaly during March was recorded and many individual weather stations recorded monthly all-time highs through March. At the same time, March was extremely dry, with 62 percent less than normal rainfall reported over Pakistan and 71 percent below normal over India, making the conditions favourable for local heating from the land surface. The heatwave continued over the month of April and reached its preliminary peak towards the end of the month. By the 29th of April, 70 percent of India was affected by the heatwave.

While heatwaves are not uncommon in the season preceding the monsoon, the very high temperatures so early in the year coupled with much less than average rain have led to extreme heat conditions with devastating consequences for public health and agriculture. The full health and economic fallout, and cascading effects from the current heat wave will however take months to determine, including the number of excess deaths, hospitalisations, lost wages, missed school days, and diminished working hours. Early reports indicate 90 deaths in India and Pakistan, and an estimated 10-35 percent reduction in crop yields in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab due to the heatwave.

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Typhoon Tembin turns deadly in the Philippines; Vietnam faces threats around Christmas

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
December 24, 2017, 6:29:56 AM EST

accuweather_Typhoon Tembin will threaten more lives and property as it targets southern Vietnam around Christmas Day.

Tembin, which is being called Vinta in the Philippines, is being blamed for the deaths of at least 90 people as it crossed Mindanao with heavy rain and strong winds late this week.

Landslides that wiped out entire villages are being blamed for a majority of the deaths.

Tembin track 12 24 17

Floodwaters washed away homes, made some roads impassable and forced hundreds to evacuate.

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