Many natural disasters brought on by abrupt climate change pounded the parts of the globe in April, paving the way for a grim new future.
The following events took place during the third week of April 2021 and offer a glimpse into the future.
A powerful magnitude 5.9 earthquake violently shook Iran’s southern province of Bushehr, where a state-owned nuclear power plant supplies power to the region. Still, luckily there were no reports of significant damage. After the government sent in at least 50 rescue teams to aid operations, emergency responders were on alert in the area. Officials reported five injuries. And if all the shaking in the Middle East isn’t enough, volcanos are starting to blow.
In Iceland, seven new volcanic craters opened up, allowing seemingly endless amounts of lava to make its way southward down through Geldingadalir Valley. Over 30,000 earthquakes have inundated Iceland after a volcano became active after a 6,000-year dormancy period. However, keep in mind, there is more to worry about than this volcano.
In Taiwan, two powerful earthquakes struck moments apart. A magnitude 5.8 struck at 10:11 pm local time at a depth of about 9.3 miles beneath the Earth’s surface. A second more powerful M 6.2 followed three minutes later at 10:14 pm. The quakes prompted emergency alert messages to go out over text networks, warning people to “beware of probable shaking.”
A total of 13 disasters, including four floods, three storms, and six wind-related events, affected the region in week 16 of 2021, according to information released by the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance. A regional summary by AHA Centre shows these disasters occurred in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand.
“National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM) reported strong winds and storms occurred in Bântéay Méanchey, Cambodia,” the report states. “High-intensity rain caused floods and winds in two (2) provinces in Indonesia as reported by Badan Nasional Penanggulan Bencana (BNPB).”
Although severe weather cells have inflicted a fair amount of damage globally in recent days, wind and rain are not all that should trouble us. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume that things will only worsen as rapid climate change progresses.
Let’s not forget about the dangers of wildfire.
In Cape Town, Africa, a wildfire engulfed South Africa’s Table Mountain, damaging historical sites and forcing residents to evacuate their homes. High winds made firefighting efforts difficult, which led to more loss. Although authorities report arson caused the fire, it served as a wake-up call to many.
Wildfires can occur anywhere at any time, and a variety of things can trigger them—arson, lightning strikes, powerline failures, to name a few. However, flooding can be just as dangerous.
In Western Angola, Africa, eleven people died, and many more went missing after severe winds and flooding hit the region of Luanda Province. The foul weather displaced hundreds of families.
In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia suffered an extreme weather spurt after heavy rain caused flooding in several regions. Residents in the Province of Ha’il, ‘Asir reported snow.
“Videos showed the mountains of Harrat Bani Rashid in Ha’il – Saudi Arabia’s largest volcanic field – covered in thick snow,” reports Alarabiya News. “Several governorates and cities in ‘Asir witnessed intense rainfall, accompanied by snowfall, including Abha, Khamis Mushait, Tanuma, and al-Namas.”
The continuing theme of heavy rains drenched parts of Northern Queensland, Australia, which prompted fast-flowing waters to sweep through the area. Weather bureaus reported 8.8 inches of rain in just 24 hours. Riverbanks burst, which cut access to roads in the area.
In Russia, forces of the sea pushed icebergs ashore, damaging infrastructure around affected coastlines.
Halfway across the world, storm chasers in Texas were able to capture images of a tornado and a rainbow touching down in the Wichita Falls area.
“I’ve stalked tornadoes, floods, solar eclipses, and hurricanes; my storm chases have taken me more than 60,000 miles around the world,” writes meteorologist and storm chaser Matthew Cappucci. “But the most memorable storm chase I ever had came on Friday when two elegant tornadoes and about of baseball-size hail validated one of my most challenging and rewarding storms chases yet.”
Reports say that high winds from the tornado temporarily knocked out power and cellular service in the area.
Cappucci Tweets: “Here’s a lower-resolution Twitter video of a quick narration as we snuck in on the backside of this epic, picturesque supercell.”
Things are ramping up, case in point. So planning is everything. It is always a good idea to plan before a disaster strikes. Don’t be left in the dark. Be proactive, don’t be reactive.
“The fact is, we can all expect to live through multiple disasters in our lifetimes, some that we may not recognize as disasters, due to their slow appearance and climb to disaster proportions,” writes Rich Murphy for Pursurvive. “On the other hand, there are those which affect the entire city in which we live, knocking everyone on their heels.”
Murphy’s writing reiterates how being prepared is essential.