WEATHER (September 1, 2021)—the people in apartments off of Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville, Maryland woke up to about 6 feet of storm water in their apartments. The resident’s did not have time to escape the surprise of the flooding waters. One male drown and one was missing. About 50 people were evacuated. Many people were rescued by boat.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center reports the weather system formerly known as Hurricane Ida is now classified as a post-tropical cyclone, moving through the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. East Coast, causing flash flooding and spawning tornados in its path.
Ida came ashore Sunday in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane and one of the most powerful storms to ever strike the mainland United States. In its last report, the hurricane center said the center of the storm system is now in the state of West Virginia and moving east to northeast.
The system, with maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour, is expected to drop up to 20 centimeters of rain as it moves through the region over a 24-hour period.
Ahead of the system, tornadoes have already been reported in the state of Maryland, to the north and east of the U.S. capital, Washington, D.C. The hurricane center said the system could even gain strength when it moves offshore later Thursday.
Meanwhile, the hurricane center reports Tropical Storm Larry has now formed in the far southeastern Atlantic and is gaining strength. They say it is likely to become a hurricane on Thursday. It currently has sustained winds of about 105 kilometers per hour and is moving to the north-northwest.
Forecasters say the storm currently poses no threat to land.
A new report released Wednesday by the United Nations indicates extreme weather events have increased fivefold over the past 50 years, while the number of fatalities related to those events has dropped.
Officials from the U.N.’s weather and climate agency, the World Meteorological Organization, introduced the report during a briefing from the agency’s headquarters in Geneva. The report shows weather-related disasters have occurred on average at a rate of one per day over the past five decades, killing 115 people and causing $202 million in losses daily.
Mami Mizutori, U.N. special representative for disaster risk reduction, told reporters she found the report “quite alarming.” She noted that this past July was the hottest July on record, marked by heat waves and floods around the world. The study shows that more people are suffering due to this increased frequency and intensity of weather events.
Mizutori said 31 million people were displaced by natural disasters last year, almost surpassing the number displaced by conflicts. She said on average, 26 million people per year are pushed into poverty by extreme weather events. Now, the COVID-19 pandemic is compounding the problem.
The U.N. disaster risk specialist said, “We live in this, what we call, the multihazard world, and it demonstrates that we really need to invest more in disaster risk reduction and prevention.”
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said the good news in the report is that during that same period, fatalities related to these disasters dropped by nearly three times, due to early warning systems and improved disaster management.
But the study also shows that more than 91% of the deaths that do occur happen in developing or low-income countries, as many do not have the same warning and management systems in place.
The WMO officials said the economic losses associated with these disasters will worsen without serious climate change mitigation. Taalas said if the right measures are put in place, the trend could be stopped in the next 40 years. WMO called on the G-20 group of world economic powers to keep their promise to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.