Water-related hazards - GulfToday

Water-related hazards

Representational image.

Floods, landslides, tsunamis, storms, heat waves, cold spells, drought and waterborne disease outbreaks are all becoming more frequent and more intense amid a new report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). It says against the backdrop of a rapidly changing global climate, water-related hazards top the list of natural disasters with the highest human losses in the past 50 years (“Water-related disasters more deadly across globe,” Gulf Today, July 25).

When disaster strikes, it usually manifests itself through water. According to the Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970-2019) of the 10 disasters causing the most human fatalities in the past five decades, drought tops the list with some 650,000 deaths across the globe.

Water-related disasters pose both direct impacts and indirect impacts in productivity and livelihoods, increased investment risk, indebtedness and human health impacts.

The German national meteorological service said up to two months’ worth of rainfall fell in 2 days, on 14 and 15 July, affecting parts of Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Austria. The increasing economic cost and toll of disasters should be a significant incentive for governments and humanitarian organisations to focus more attention on preparedness, prevention and addressing the root causes of vulnerability.

Climate change is reshaping the future for freshwater. More torrential rain, floods and drought can be expected in many areas.

Abu Ali
By email

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