Heavy Rains and Floods Wreak Havoc in Tanzania, China, and Paraguay

Extreme weather events ravage Tanzania, China, and Paraguay, highlighting the urgent need for improved infrastructure and disaster preparedness in the face of climate change.

Quadri Adejumo
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Heavy Rains and Floods Wreak Havoc in Tanzania, China, and Paraguay

Heavy Rains and Floods Wreak Havoc in Tanzania, China, and Paraguay

Heavy rains, strong storms, and floods have caused significant damage and loss of life in several countries around the world, according to reports from Al Arabiya on April 26, 2024. The extreme weather events have hit Tanzania, China, and Paraguay particularly hard, while fires threaten Cuba and snow covers Finland.

In Tanzania, torrential rain and flooding have resulted in 155 deaths, 236 injuries, and affected over 200,000 people. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa blamed environmental degradation, including deforestation, unsustainable farming practices, and unregulated livestock grazing, for contributing to the destruction. "Heavy El Nino rains, accompanied by strong winds and flooding and landslides," Majaliwa stated, have worsened the ongoing rainy season.

The flooding has destroyed roads, bridges, and railways, and has forced the closure of flooded schools in Tanzania. Neighboring countries like Burundi and Kenya have also reported flooding, with 35 deaths reported in Kenya as of Monday. Around 103,500 people have been affected in Kenya, where the Red Cross has carried out over 188 rescues since the onset of the floods in March.

Why this matters: The devastating impact of the heavy rains and floods in East Africa highlights the region's vulnerability to extreme weather events and the urgent need for improved infrastructure and disaster preparedness. The loss of life and widespread destruction underscore the disproportionate effect of climate change on developing nations.

In China, the southern Guangdong province has experienced record-breaking rainfall, leading to power outages, disrupted mobile networks, and dangerous mudslides. The storms, brought by the El Nino weather phenomenon and a stronger-than-normal subtropical high, have killed at least four people and forced the relocation of around 110,000 residents. Experts warn of the increased risk of further flooding, mudslides, landslides, and other geological disasters in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, in Paraguay, heavy rains and floods have forced the evacuation of hundreds of people from their homes. Fires have also threatened parts of Cuba, while Finland has experienced heavy snowfall, causing disruptions to daily life.

The UN's World Meteorological Organization has stated that the current El Nino event is one of the five strongest on record, and its impact is expected to persist in the coming months, leading to above-normal temperatures and further extreme weather events across the affected regions. As the Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa noted, "The flooding has also affected neighboring Kenya, where at least 32 people have died, and around 103,500 people have been affected."

Key Takeaways

  • Heavy rains, storms, and floods caused damage in Tanzania, China, Paraguay, Cuba, and Finland.
  • In Tanzania, 155 deaths, 236 injuries, and 200,000 affected due to flooding and environmental degradation.
  • In China, record rainfall led to power outages, disrupted networks, and forced 110,000 relocations.
  • In Paraguay, heavy rains and floods forced hundreds to evacuate their homes.
  • The UN warns the current El Nino event is one of the strongest on record, with more extreme weather expected.