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Nine killed in India and Bangladesh floods

Torrential rains and swelling rivers have wrought havoc across northeast India and neighboring Bangladesh, claiming at least nine lives and affecting over three million people, according to disaster officials. The relentless monsoon downpours, a seasonal occurrence exacerbated by climate change, have once again highlighted the vulnerability of the region to extreme weather events.

In India’s northeastern state of Assam, the situation has been dire. Over the past day alone, eight people lost their lives due to the deluge, bringing the total death toll since mid-May to 46. The state’s disaster authorities reported that approximately 2,800 villages have been submerged, severely affecting more than 1.6 million residents. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma attributed the current crisis to heavy rainfall in Arunachal Pradesh, the upstream state in India.

Despite efforts, Sarma acknowledged the helplessness in preventing such calamities, stating, “No human intervention can stop it.” Downstream in low-lying Bangladesh, the impact has been equally devastating. The country’s disaster management agency reported that floods have affected around 1.8 million people. Tragically, a young man lost his life after being swept away by the surging waters while fishing.

Bangladesh, predominantly composed of river deltas from the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers, faces recurring challenges during the monsoon season. The region heavily relies on these rivers for agriculture and livelihoods, making the annual monsoon a critical but perilous time.

Climate scientists emphasize that climate change is amplifying the intensity and frequency of monsoon rains across South Asia. The traditional monsoon patterns, essential for agricultural cycles and water resources, are becoming increasingly erratic and unpredictable. This unpredictability poses severe challenges for disaster preparedness and response efforts in the region.

The current floods are a stark reminder of the region’s vulnerability to climate-induced disasters. The monsoon, which typically brings 70-80 percent of the annual rainfall to South Asia, also brings a significant risk of flooding and landslides. As climate change continues to alter weather patterns, authorities and communities must adapt to the evolving risks posed by these natural phenomena.

Authorities have issued warnings that water levels are expected to rise further over the next few days, underscoring the urgency of preparedness and response measures. Rescue operations are underway, with efforts focused on evacuating affected communities and providing essential relief supplies.

As the monsoon season progresses, collaboration between governments, disaster management agencies, and local communities will be crucial in mitigating the impact of such disasters. Long-term strategies, including climate-resilient infrastructure and sustainable land-use planning, are essential to build resilience against future climate extremes.

In conclusion, while the monsoon is crucial for the livelihoods of millions in South Asia, it also poses significant challenges due to climate change-induced weather variability. Immediate relief efforts must be complemented by sustained investments in resilience-building measures to safeguard vulnerable communities from future disasters. The current situation serves as a poignant reminder of the need for proactive climate action and international cooperation to address the escalating impacts of climate change on vulnerable regions worldwide.

In other news – Fifa extends Zifa normalisation committee’s tenure

FIFA, the global football governing body, has decided to extend the tenure of the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) Normalisation Committee by an additional six months. Originally led by Lincoln Mutasa, the committee faced an impending expiration at the end of last month, prompting speculations regarding the potential dismissal of the entire interim executive.

A delegation from FIFA is currently in Zimbabwe and has engaged with various stakeholders to deliberate on the way forward. Read More

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