Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters with more than 5 000 lives lost annually. Their social, economic and environmental impacts are significant. Accounting for approximately 85% of flooding cases, flash floods also have the highest mortality rate among different classes of flooding, including riverine and coastal. Flash floods differ from river floods in their short time scales and occurrence on small spatial scales, which makes flash flood forecasting a different challenge from large-river flood forecasting.
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Record-breaking rainfall induced by a tropical cyclone has caused devastation and casualties in the Chinese capital Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei, prompting a major relief and rescue operation. Other countries in Asia have also been impacted by the extreme downpours.
Two powerful tropical cyclones are bringing misery to millions in opposite parts of the world. Hurricane Ian has caused devastation in western Cuba and made landfall in the U.S. state of Florida as a strong Category 4 , with catastrophic storm surge, flooding and wind. Typhoon Noru underwent explosive intensification before it hit the Philippines and for a second time en route to Viet Nam.
The global battle to reduce disaster losses by 2030 will be won or lost in Asia and the Pacific, according to the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, which organized the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference for Disaster Risk Reduction hosted by Australia in Brisbane.
More than 1,000 youth leaders from Asia and the Pacific region gathered this week in the Philippines for an international conference co-sponsored by WMO to increase youth participation in addressing global water and climate challenges. The event came on the eve of International Youth Day on 12 August, which this year has the theme Intergenerational Solidarity: Creating a World for All Ages, which amplifies the message that action is needed across all generations to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and leave no one behind.
A successful six-year, 10 million Canadian dollar project, funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), has strengthened the quality and availability of impact-based forecasts and services to support communities in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.