Flash floods triggered by incessant rains have caused significant damage and loss of life in Himachal Pradesh, India. The landslides and rain-related incidents have claimed the lives of over 35 people, with alerts issued by the Indian Meteorological Agency for several other states. Similar flooding events have occurred in various countries worldwide. In Japan, heavy rains have resulted in floods and mudslides, causing two fatalities and leaving at least six individuals missing. In the United States, areas in New York and Vermont have witnessed severe flooding, described by residents as the worst since the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene in 2011. Additionally, widespread flooding in northern, central, and southeastern China has displaced tens of thousands of people. Turkey and the Black Sea coast have also experienced swollen rivers due to heavy rainfall.
On July 10, 2023, the Yamuna River in Delhi surpassed the warning mark as its water level reached 204.63 meters, according to officials from the Delhi Jal Board. The heavy rainfall in the upper catchment area of the Ganga's longest and second-largest tributary was the primary cause of the rising water levels in the national capital.
Despite heavy rainfall in northern and northwestern India on July 8-9, 2023, the monsoon distribution across the country remains highly irregular. Large portions of southeastern and southern India continue to face a rainfall deficit while other regions grapple with excessive precipitation.
The United States has categorically rejected the notion of providing reparations to developing countries grappling with climate change-induced disasters. John Kerry, the climate envoy, made this statement during a congressional hearing and emphasized that the US would not offer compensation to countries affected by floods, storms, and other climate-related catastrophes. Kerry's remarks came just before his scheduled visit to China, where he intended to engage in discussions on climate change matters and the arrangements for the upcoming United Nations climate conference, COP28, set to take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in November.
The world is experiencing extreme heatwaves, reinforcing the urgency of addressing climate change. Unprecedented heat has been observed in various regions, including the US, UK, North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. June 2023 was declared the hottest June on record globally, with the three hottest days ever recorded occurring in the past week. Climate models have accurately predicted these high temperatures, serving as a stark reminder of the long-known consequences of greenhouse gas accumulation.
The Yamuna river level in Delhi has breached all records, reaching an all-time high of 207.55 metres on Wednesday. This is the highest level the river has reached since 1978, when it caused devastating floods in the national capital.
Climate change may be a contributing factor behind the recent heavy rainfall that has caused mayhem in northwest India. The experts believe that the increasing levels of global warming have led to a steep increase in extreme weather events, such as the heavy rainfall being experienced in northwest India.
Delhi experienced its heaviest rainfall for a July day in 21 years, causing chaos on the streets. The India Meteorological Department issued a red alert, and the Delhi Traffic Police reported waterlogging at 56 locations and fallen trees blocking several stretches. The heavy rain was a result of monsoon winds interacting with a western disturbance. The city's lack of preparedness for the monsoon season is concerning, especially as it aims to become a world-class city. More rain is expected in the coming days.
Amid ongoing monsoon rains, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert for seven districts in Himachal Pradesh, signaling a "very high risk" of heavy rainfall, flash floods, and landslides. Additionally, an orange alert has been issued for three districts in the state. The IMD has also issued orange and red alerts for Uttarakhand, highlighting the likelihood of heavy to very heavy rainfall. Delhi, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh have been placed under a yellow alert by the weather department.
Torrential monsoon rains have wreaked havoc across northern India, resulting in the loss of at least 22 lives and causing landslides and flash floods. The national capital, Delhi, witnessed its wettest July day in decades, leading to the closure of schools. The Himalayan states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand urged residents to remain indoors unless absolutely necessary. Flash floods in Himachal Pradesh destroyed a bridge and several hutments, while authorities used helicopters to rescue stranded individuals. Punjab, Delhi, and Uttarakhand faced extensive flooding, with rescue operations employing rubber rafts to reach people trapped in their homes. The Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh urged residents to stay indoors as more heavy rainfall was anticipated.