Beyond the heatwaves: 2023 has been a year of worldwide flooding disasters
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2023 has so far been a year when extreme weather reports have dominated world media. The year begun with a heatwave in December and January affecting southern Europe. Along with heat waves having been an issue worldwide this year, there has also been many flooding disasters.
This article contains a list of flooding disasters which have occurred in 2023 and late 2022, up until the last noted update of this article. The list may not be complete - contact us if you have more info.
We have not yet seen a scientific or statistical comparison of the amount of flooding disasters for 2023 as opposed to previous years. This is only an editorial observation of the frequent reporting of flooding disasters which have made it into the world media.
LAST UPDATED AUGUST 14:
Almost 50 people have died in rain-related incidents in the past 24 hours in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, the BBC reports.
Out of the deaths which have occurred throughout the state, at least nine happened when a temple collapsed in the state's capital, Shimla. Officials say they fear more people may still be trapped in the remains of the building.
Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said the recent heavy rains have triggered landslides and flash floods.
Hundreds of roads have been affected and parts of the Kalka-Shimla railway have been washed away by floodwaters.
Last Updated August 10:
South Korea authorities said Thursday that have evacuated more than 10,000 people and closed schools in areas affected by flooding this week as the tropical storm Khanun swept over the peninsula. The storm has already impacted southern Japan over the past week, reports Reuters.
Khanun was recently downgraded from a typhoon to a tropical storm. It reached the southeast coast and was heading towards the South Korean capital Seoul.
Khanun could potentially also affect the North Korea capital on Pyongyang. State media said reported that the military and the ruling party had been ordered to prepare flood-mitigation measures and salvage crops in preparation for Friday when the storm may reach the country.
Last updated August 9, 2023
Flooding in Asia:
The death toll from recent flooding in Beijing rose to 33, including five rescuers, and another 18 people are missing, officials said Wednesday, as much of the country's north remains threatened by unusually heavy rainfall.
Typhoon Doksuri is wreaking havoc in China and Beijing has been hit by the worst rainfall ever recorded since measurements of rainwater started 140 years ago.
During July, at least 147 people died or disappeared in mainland China, on Taiwan and in the Philippines.
Another 14 people have died in recent downpours in August, Chinese authorities said on August 6. In the city of Jilin, 19000 people were evacuated.
Attempts to avert the flood waters from Beijing have led to controversial floodings in other areas.
Current flooding disaster in Scandinavia:
Currently (August 9) Sweden and Norway is experiencing flooding. Storm Hans, a local storm in Northern Europe, has flooded several towns and made a hydro power dam in Braskereidfoss collapse.
3200 people are evacuated in Norway.
In Sweden, railway bridges are undermined by the floodwaters and a train has derailed because of collapsed train tracks which were compromised by floodwaters.
The Göta Älv river has overflowed and the city of Gothenburg has closed their water intake due to risks of sewage water leaking out into the Göta Älv river.
No deaths or severe injuries in the Scandinavian aftermaths of Storm Hans have been recorded, however the economic damage is considerable.
Lowering train speed on comprosed track averted a disaster with many potential deaths
The train derailment in Sweden on Monday August 7 could have been catastrophic if train staff had not lowered the speed to 40 km/h ( 25 mph) instead of driving the normal 140 km/h ( 87 mph).
The train was travelling between Iggesund and Hudiksvall at normal speed when staff discovered floodwater had eroded the train track foundation. The train driver informed the command center about the compromised tracks 20 minutes before the derailment - and made the decision to lower the speed.
Minutes later, the train derailed. Although no one was seriously injured in the incident, the train company now feels it was a mistake not to stop the train altogether.
Flooding disasters in August:
July was a month of extreme weather throughout the world. Unfortunately, August is starting out in a similar way.
In Germany, a localized hail storm in the German city of Reutlingen brought 30 cm / 12 inches of hail which needed to be removed.
About 250 firefighters took part in clean-up operations across the city, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, reports Telegraph.co.uk.
Six dead and thousands evacuated in Slovenia - enormous economic damage
In Slovenia, a historic weather event has occurred: Last weekend, bridges and roads collapsed as a result of rain and flooding. Two-thirds of the country's has reportedly been affected and six people have died. Thousands needed to be evacuated from their homes.
In Alaska, a glacial dam burst and the water level in the nearby river rose by 1.5 meters. In the state capital of Juneau a state of emergency has been declared and several buildings have been destroyed.
Austria has also been hit by flooding as heavy rainfall continues across the country, with the regions of Carinthia and Styria particularly affected, reports EuroNews.com.
According to DW.com, 3 people have died in the Austrian flooding disaster, which is connected to the Slovenian high water situation. Torrential rain struck the two countries overnight, causing severe floods and mudslides. The severe weather cut off several villages, sparked evacuations and closed major roads and rail lines.
In Croatia, the army has been on standby due to eavy downpours which brought flooding to parts of the country.
At least 11 people died and around 25 others are still missing after a landslide devastated the popular resort in Georgia’s Shovi Valley in the beginning of August, reports EuroNews.com.
The Georgian Interior Ministry reported on Friday that the extreme weather event which hit Shovi devastated the resort, located along the Chankaji River, and that works to clear it out and restore it will start “as soon as possible”.
According to the ministry, more than 200 people were evacuated by helicopters because of the landslide sweeping away bridges on the highway leading to the resort, which made road vehicle access more difficult.
Drainage systems were also blocked by the storm, causing water to pour into underground garages and basements, officials said in a statement. The Echaz river reportedly rose 1,5 meter / 5 feet in five minutes.
Other flooding disasters in 2023 prior to August
CANADA: In July 2023 an estimated 250 millimetres of rain fell in 24 hours, creating devastating and deadly flooding in portions of Halifax and central Nova Scotia. Some experts say this is the latest example of inadequate state of preparation for climate disasters.
On July 22, 2023, a state of emergency was declared in the province, scheduled to last two weeks, ending on August 5. The floods greatly affected the municipalities of Halifax, East Hants, West Hants, as well as the counties of Lunenburg and Queens with estimates of up to 300 millimetres of rain in parts of the province.
Following the flooding, 4 people were reported missing. The body of a missing man was found in on July 24 and unidentified remains of a missing person were also found.
USA, third week of July: State of Emergency After Record Rain Triggers Severe Floods in Western Kentucky
Colombia, third week of July: Houses Destroyed, Multiple Fatalities After Heavy Rain Causes Landslides in Cundinamarca
Brazil, second week of July: Severe Floods in Alagoas and Pernambuco, 14 Killed in Building Collapse
USA, second week of July: State of Emergency After Deadly Floods in New York
Severe hail storms have also plagued parts of Europe this summer. Italy and Germany have been among those most affected.
On 19 July 2023, there were several very large hailstones, more than 10cm in diameter measured along their longest axis, recorded across parts of Italy and Croatia, reports among others, The Guardian.
One of these hail record breaking stones, measuring 16cm / 6,2 inches in diameter was recorded in Carmignano di Brenta, Italy, and broke the previous largest hail record in Europe, which was held by a 15 cm stone found in Romania in 2016.
AP reports of more floodings around the world in July:
Schools in New Delhi were forced to close in the second week of July after heavy monsoon rains affected the Indian capital. Landslides and flash floods killed at least 15 people over the course of three days. Farther north, the overflowing Beas River swept away vehicles as the river flooded several neighborhoods.
In Japan, torrential rain pounded the southwestern parts of the country. Floods and mudslides killed two people and at left another least six people missing. Houses in the Fukuoka prefecture and muddy water from the overflowing Yamakuni River threatened a bridge in the town of Yabakei.
In Ulster County US, in New York’s Hudson Valley and in Vermont, the flooding is said to be the worst since Hurricane Irene in 2011.
30 dead in flooding in South Korea
In mid July, there were several dozen fatalities in central and southern regions of South Korea, including the Chongju region where an underpass flooded and drowned motorists who became trapped in their submerged vehicles, reports Phys.org.
State of Emergency in the eastern US
In the U.S., flooding killed five people in Upper Makefield Township, Pennsylvania. Flooding also affected parts of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey A state of emergency was declared in New Jersey by Gov. Phil Murphy following significant damage from flooding and landslides.
Turkey hit hard by flooding several times in 2023
Turkey: in the mountainous and scenic Black Sea coast, heavy rain of over 250 mm in 24 hours caused overflowed rivers and damaged cities with flooding and landslides on July 8 - 10.
By 16 July 2023, 15 municipalities in six regions of Georgia were heavily affected by a series of unexpected storms, heavy rainfall and flash floods, reports ReliefWeb.int.
In Russia, hundreds were evacuated after floodwaters damaged 200 homes in Sochi second week of July, reports FloodList.com.
Spain: In the first week of July, Spain experienced dramatic flash Floods in Zaragoza after 20mm of rain fell in 10 Minutes.
Flooding disasters in May and June:
Mexico, third week of June: Flash Floods in Chiapas Leave 1 Dead, 1 Missing and Chile – 2 Dead, 6 Missing After Floods in 7 Regions
Romania, third week of June: 1 Dead, Dozens of Homes Damaged After Floods in Arad County
Kosovo, third week of June: Deadly Floods After 54mm of Rain in 1 Hour
Brazil, second week of June: 11 Dead, Thousands Displaced After Floods and Landslides in Rio Grande Do Sul
Cuba, second week of June: Severe Flooding Hits Eastern Provinces After 360mm of Rain in 24 Hours
Equador, first week of June: Hundreds Rescued as Flooding Impacts Esmeraldas Province
Haiti, first week of June: 42 Dead, 11 Missing After Flooding and Landslides Cause Widespread Damage
Turkey, first week of June: 2 Fatalities Reported After Floods in Black Sea Provinces
Italy: May: Deadly Flash Floods in Campania Region
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mid May: Flooding Rivers Damage Homes and Impact Livelihoods
UK, second week of May: Evacuations After Floods in Devon and Somerset
Italy, early May: Evacuations and Rescues After Floods in Emilia-Romagna
Canada, first week of May: Two Missing After Floods in Quebec
Select flooding disasters in April and earlier in 2023
USA, mid April: Flash Floods in South Florida After 650mm of Rain in 24 Hours
Ukraine, mid April: Floods in 8 Regions Impact Hundreds of Households
Italy, early April: Deadly Flash Floods in Calabria
Latvia, early April: Augšdaugava Communities Isolated After Daugava River Floods
Turkey, mid March: 14 Dead, 5 Missing in Şanlıurfa and Adıyaman Floods
Serbia, third week of January: Floods Leave 2 Missing, Dozens Evacuated
Select flooding disasters in December 2022:
Spain, Mid December: Flood Rescues After Heavy Rain in West and Central Regions
Bosnia and Croatia, did December: 1 Person Dead, Homes Damaged After Rain Triggers Floods and Landslides
Turkey, Mid December: Floods Hit Antalya for Second Time in 2 Weeks
Portugal, mid December: More Flooding Hits Lisbon After 65 mm of Rain in 3 Hours
Portugal, second week of December: Deadly Floods in Lisbon
Italy, first week of December: Dozens Rescued From Flooding in South. Only days earlier, in the end of November, 2 Dead, Several Feared Missing in Landslides and Floods on the Island of Ischia
FloodList.com has more information about more flooding incidents throughout the world. We have not included flooding disasters in Africa or other areas where we do not have members.
The video below is from Croatia, after the water wave in Slovenia affected the river Drava and made the train tracks overflow.