Storms and floods sweep across Asia as Asia reels from Covid-19

In the midst of struggling to cope with a new wave of Covid-19, many Asian countries continue to suffer from storms and floods that cause great damage.

According to Reuters, the western state of Maharashtra, India , is suffering from a torrential downpour not seen in decades. Heavy rains have led to floods and landslides, killing at least 125 people, affecting hundreds of thousands of people’s lives.

Rescuers are still struggling through thick mud and debris to reach dozens of flooded homes. “About 40 people are still trapped. The chances of saving their lives are slim because they have been trapped in the mud for more than 36 hours,” a senior Maharashtra state official said.

Some parts of the west coast of India recorded up to 594 mm of rain, forcing local authorities to evacuate people before opening the dam to release the overflowing flood. In the southern Indian state of Telangana, heavy rains also caused flooding in the capital Hyderabad and some other low-lying areas.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities today ordered the closure of a series of seaports and railway lines before Typhoon In-fa is expected to make landfall in eastern China tomorrow.

Hundreds of cars were submerged in a flooded tunnel in China (Image: EPA).

In-fa is the first typhoon to make landfall in China during this year’s typhoon season, coming just days after the central province of Henan was hit by “once in a thousand” floods. As of today, at least 58 people have been confirmed dead when Ha Nam began cleaning and restoring after the flood.

The floods have severely damaged many houses and roads in Ha Nam, paralyzed many economic activities, and estimated billions of dollars in damage. Pictures posted online show a series of cars being swept away by floodwaters or stuck in flooded tunnels.

According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the Jingguang tunnel in Zhengzhou city, completely flooded after only 5 minutes on the evening of July 20, submerged hundreds of cars, leaving many people missing. Local authorities did not release the number of people killed in this tunnel, but The Paper news portal quoted an unnamed official as saying that the rescue team had checked all the cars stuck in the tunnel and discovered Now 4 bodies. Many people are concerned that the death toll is much higher because many families are still posting messages to search for their missing family members after the flood.

More than 14,000 Filipinos were evacuated due to storms (Image: EPA).

In the Philippines , thousands of people in the capital Manila were evacuated as the city and neighboring provinces were flooded by stormy water. “Many houses were flooded up to the roof,” said Humerlito Dolor, governor of Oriental Mindor province south of Manila.

In some areas of Manila and surrounding areas, floodwaters have risen to hip height, bringing traffic to a halt.

“We decided to evacuate early. We didn’t want the water to reach our feet to jump,” said Tayson, one of thousands of people evacuated. Despite the concentrated evacuation, local authorities still require people to adhere to social distancing measures to avoid the risk of Covid-19 infection.

Earlier, in Japan, at least 15 people were killed and more than 10 were missing after heavy rain caused flash floods and landslides in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture on July 3.

Scientists believe that climate change is one of the main causes of extreme weather situations not only in Asia but also in many other parts of the world. Several Western European countries have also experienced a severe flood that has killed more than 200 people.

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