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US reels under scorching temperatures, heavy flooding | Climate Crisis News

US reels under scorching temperatures, heavy flooding | Climate Crisis News

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More than 50 million people in the US under heat warnings while hundreds are evacuated from flooding in the Midwest.

Soaring temperatures have placed more than 50 million people in the United States under extreme heat advisories, while flooding has spurred rescue operations and evacuations throughout the Midwest.

The National Integrated Heat Health Information System said on Monday that about 57.4 million people across the country were under active extreme heat advisories, watches, and warnings, down from 123.8 million on Sunday.

“The arrival of this more intense heat early in the Summer season leads to a higher level of heat-related stress, especially for those outdoors and without reliable air conditioning available,” the National Weather Service said in a report.

The soaring temperatures and deadly flooding underscore the risks of extreme weather fuelled by climate change, which has increased the frequency and intensity of such events.

The governor of the midwestern state of South Dakota said that at least one person was killed in flooding over the weekend. In neighbouring Iowa, Governor Kim Reynolds told reporters on Sunday that more than 1,000 displaced people had spent the night in shelters.

“Businesses are shuttered. Main streets have been impacted,” said Reynolds. “Hospitals, nursing homes and other care facilities were evacuated. Cities are without power, and some are without drinkable water.”

Over the weekend, officials in cities including Philadelphia warned that heat indices could reach over 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius), putting residents at risk of heat-related illness.

“It’s more important for people who are going to be outside to stay hydrated, because heat, humidity and low winds, even if you’re in good shape and not really acclimated to it, it could be a danger, ” said Bruce Thoren, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oklahoma. “It happens quickly.”

A street submerged by flooding
A street south of the city of Canton, South Dakota in the Midwestern US is shown underwater after days of heavy rain on Saturday, June 22, 2024 [Josh Jurgens/AP Photo]

Research has shown that heat waves will be one of the most dangerous effects of climate change over the coming decades, and hundreds of people have died from extreme heat across Asia and Europe over the last several weeks.


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