People around the world are dying in ‘unprecedented’ heavy rains this week

Click to play video: '‘Nowhere near over’: Ferocious flooding slams U.S. northeast'
‘Nowhere near over’: Ferocious flooding slams U.S. northeast
WATCH - 'Nowhere near over': Ferocious flooding slams U.S. northeast – Jul 11, 2023

Countries around the globe are seeing heavy rainfall and flooding, just days after a heat wave last week smashed global heat records.

July 3 marked the hottest day ever recorded, followed by July 4, which followed a June that also crushed monthly heat records.

Now, the heavy rains and flooding are causing deaths in the United States, India and Japan, and have also forced hundreds to evacuate in Quebec.

Click to play video: '‘Likely to get worse’: Climate change linked to increase in extreme weather events in U.S.'
‘Likely to get worse’: Climate change linked to increase in extreme weather events in U.S.

Here’s a look at how people around the world have been grappling with the latest bout of extreme wet weather.

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Crews begin repairs to a washed-out section of Highway 170 in Riviere-Eternite, Que., Sunday, July 2, 2023. A major landslide caused by heavy rain cut Highway 170 between Saguenay, Que., and Saint-Simeon. Two people are missing after they were swept from the road by floodwaters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot.

On July 10, officials said that 220 homes were evacuated in Ste-Brigitte-de-Laval, Que., near Quebec City after more than 70 millimetres of rain fell just north of the town, which caused water levels to rise.

And the threat isn’t over yet as Environment Canada predicts another 80-120 millimetres of rain in the area by the end of Tuesday.

Officials said several areas in southern and central Quebec were being monitored for flood risks and also for potential landslides.

“The precipitation that falls on waterways, we see the water level rise in real time, but landslides are more insidious, sometimes enough water falls to impact the ground so that it becomes susceptible to a landslide that finally takes place a few days after,” said Joshua Menard-Suarez, a Public Safety Department spokesman.

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Cars sit stranded in standing flood water along Thayer Road on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Monday, July 10, 2023, in West Point, N.Y. Heavy rain washed out roads and forced evacuations Sunday in the northeast as more downpours were forecast throughout the day Monday. (Courtesy of the USMA via AP).

Heavy rains also lashed several parts of the northeastern United States over recent days.

In Hudson Valley, N.Y., a woman died while trying to escape her flooded house on Sunday.

The slow-moving storm reached New England after hitting parts of New York.

U.S. President Joe Biden, who is in Vilnius, Lithuania, attending the annual NATO summit, declared a federal emergency in Vermont and authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help co-ordinate disaster relief efforts and provide assistance.

“Serious, life-threatening flooding is occurring today across much of Vermont. Emergency crews have conducted rescues in multiple communities. About two dozen state roads are closed as of 10AM. Flash flood warnings are in effect from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian border,” Vermont police tweeted on Monday.

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Rescue teams reached Vermont as relentless heavy downpour battered the entire region overnight.

Flood warnings continued into Tuesday and the downtown area in Vermont’s capital city Montpelier was inundated.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency for Orange County.

Residents, journalists and emergency service workers walk around a flooded Main Street, Monday, July 10, 2023, in Highland Falls, N.Y. (AP Photo/John Minchillo).

“We have not seen rainfall like this since Irene,” Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said on Monday, referring to Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011. That storm killed six in the state, washed homes off their foundations and damaged or destroyed more than 200 bridges and 500 miles (805 kilometres) of highway.

However, Irene lasted just about 24 hours, Scott said.

“This is going on. We’re getting just as much rain, if not more. It’s going on for days. That’s my concern. It’s not just the initial damage, it’s the wave, the second wave, and the third wave,” he said.

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Shelters were set up at churches and town halls. The National Weather Service in Burlington said rain in the northern part of Vermont was expected to lessen Tuesday, but more rain was in the forecast for Thursday.

Click to play video: 'How to protect your home from flood damage'
How to protect your home from flood damage

Severe flooding has also hit on the other side of the world.

At least 15 people died in landslides and flashfloods in northern India, caused by torrential rainfall. The country’s northern hill states, which lie in the Himalayan ranges, were worst affected. But the nation’s capital, New Delhi, did not escape the extreme weather.

One person died in New Delhi and schools were ordered shut by the city government.

The levels in the Yamuna River, which runs across the metropolis, rose dangerously on Tuesday as India’s weather agency has warned of more rainfall in the coming days.

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People walk through a bridge across River Beas swollen due to heavy rains in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India, Monday, July 10, 2023. Scientists have long warned that more extreme rainfall is expected in a warming world. (AP Photo/Aqil Khan).

In the 24 hours between July 8 and July 9, New Delhi saw 153 millimetres of rain.

The city’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, said this was the most rainfall the city had seen since 1982.

“Delhi’s system is not equipped to handle this level of rainfall, so naturally people had to face a lot of hardship,” he said at a press conference on Monday.

Landslides triggered by the rains disrupted traffic on key highways in Uttarakhand, a tourist hill state in the Himalayas, prompting warnings for residents not to venture out of their homes unless necessary. Authorities used helicopters to rescue people while bridges and houses were swept away in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh.

Scientists say monsoons are becoming more erratic due to climate change and global warming, leading to frequent landslides and flash floods in India’s Himalayan north.

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A car navigates its way through a flooded street in Jammu, India, Tuesday, July 4, 2023. The monsoon season in India lasts from June to September. (AP Photo/Channi Anand).

Neighbouring Pakistan, where 80 people died from flooding last month and which was hit by massive and devastating floods last summer, is gearing up for a return of the flooding.

Evacuations were underway from the lowlands in eastern Punjab province, according to Pakistan’s disaster management agency.

More than 500 people were moved from the villages of Narowal, Sialkot and elsewhere, officials said. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday praised rescuers for evacuating those stranded in Punjab.

Click to play video: 'Pakistan’s ‘monsoon on steroids’ is a warning to the rest of the world'
Pakistan’s ‘monsoon on steroids’ is a warning to the rest of the world

In Japan, rainfall and mudslides left at least two people dead and six missing this week.

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Rain falling in the regions of Kyushu and Chugoku since the weekend caused flooding along many rivers, triggered mudslides, closed roads, disrupted trains and cut the water supply in some areas.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued an emergency heavy rain warning for Fukuoka and Oita prefectures on the southern main island of Kyushu, urging residents in riverside and hillside areas to take maximum caution.

More than 1.7 million residents in vulnerable areas were urged to take shelter.

The emergency warning was downgraded later Monday to a regular warning.

Click to play video: 'Japan floods: At least 6 dead as country takes stock of rain damage'
Japan floods: At least 6 dead as country takes stock of rain damage
Houses are damaged by a landslide in Karatsu, Saga prefecture, southern Japan Monday, July 10, 2023. Torrential rain has been pounding southwestern Japan, triggering floods and mudslides. (Kyodo News via AP).

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who is scheduled to attend a July 11-12 NATO summit in Lithuania, said he will make a final decision on whether to go after assessing the extent of damage Tuesday morning.

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“Either way, we will do our utmost to respond to the disaster by putting people’s lives first,” he said.

In Kurume, also in Fukuoka, a mudslide hit seven houses, burying 21 people.

Six were able to escape on their own. Rescue workers extracted nine people alive and were working to remove five others, but one remained missing, according to the disaster agency.

Toyota Motor Corp. suspended night-time production at three Fukuoka factories on Monday as a safety precaution. Normal production was expected to resume on Tuesday.

A vehicle is stuck on a street flooded due to heavy rain in Kurume, Fukuoka prefecture, southern Japan Monday, July 10, 2023. Torrential rain is pounding southwestern Japan, triggering floods and mudslides Monday as weather officials issued an emergency heavy rain warning in parts of the southernmost main island of Kyushu. (Kyodo News via AP).

In the city of Karatsu in Saga prefecture, rescue workers were searching for three people whose houses were hit by a mudslide, the agency said. Video on NHK public television showed one of the destroyed houses reduced to just a roof sitting on the muddy ground amid flowing floodwaters.

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At least three other people were missing elsewhere in the region.

Turkey and China also faced serious floods last week, with recovery work still underway. At least 15 people were killed by flooding in southwestern China, with tens of thousands evacuated.

Seasonal flooding hits large parts of China every year, particularly in the semi-tropical south.

However, some northern regions this year have reported the worst floods in 50 years.

— with files from The Canadian Press and The Associated Press

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