Severe Flooding in Europe (Photo: Laszlo Pinter)

Europe Hit With Heavy Rains Leading to Flooding and Landslides

Scientists attribute the latest extreme weather events to climate change caused by human activity. Following a hot early summer marked by heatwaves and subsequent severe flooding in Europe last month, extreme weather conditions have persisted across the continent.

In Poland, authorities activated emergency services on Monday due to flooding that inundated roads and basements in Zakopane and nearby towns. Firefighters were deployed to numerous locations to assist.

A cloudburst led to flooding that rendered the Zakopianka route, linking the Tatra Mountains to Krakow, impassable for several hours.

The impact of this extreme weather also extended to Austria, where municipalities like Waldkirchen and Rappolz near the Czech Republic border experienced heavy rain from a thunderstorm.

This followed a devastating hailstorm on Sunday afternoon. In one neighboring village, declared a disaster area, firefighters and rescuers worked late into the night to protect buildings with tarpaulins.

Meanwhile, meteorologists in Slovenia warned of storms originating in Italy continuing to affect the country on Tuesday. The adverse weather has already caused extensive damage, including destruction of dozens of roofs and crops in various parts of Slovenia.

Flooding in Europe

In Switzerland and northern Italy, at least four people lost their lives over the weekend due to widespread flooding and landslides triggered by heavy storms.

In the Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino, on the southern side of the Alps, three bodies were recovered following a landslide.

Throughout the weekend, heavy rainfall pounded southern and western Switzerland, leading to evacuations from camping sites, collapsed bridges, and ongoing search efforts for a missing person in the Lavizzara valley.

Further north in the Valais region, the Rhone River overflowed in several areas, flooding a motorway and railway line.

Local authorities reported particularly intense rainfall in side valleys south of the Rhone, where a missing man was found deceased early Sunday morning after his partner had reported him missing.

In Italy, firefighters conducted around 80 rescue operations over the weekend, evacuating numerous people in the northern Piedmont region. A family, including a three-month-old infant, was rescued near Montanaro after being stranded in their car due to rising waters.

In Valle D’Aosta, several villages were cut off by overflowing streams, storms, and landslides.

Scientists emphasize that these recent extreme weather events, encompassing severe heatwaves and other phenomena, are linked to climate change driven by human activities.

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