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News Making International Headlines: 2 September 2021

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Fire Rips Through Turkish Chemical Plant

A huge fire has ripped through a chemical plant that manufactures cologne and disinfectant outside Istanbul. More than 50 factories were damaged. 140 firefighters and 61 trucks responded to the scene. It took them 8 hours to extinguish the blaze, which was peppered by occasional explosions. One business owner was injured while trying to put out the fire. Two firefighters were also hit by a metal tank.

Weather Disasters on Both Sides of Atlantic

Two climate-change related disasters also making headlines on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Intense rain hit Spain on Wednesday, flooding towns and around 7,000 homes. Thousands of people were badly affected. They’re without electricity and some roads and rail links have been closed. The storm, which gained strength due to high temperatures and humidity, hit especially hard in the coastal town of Alcanar in the northeastern region of Catalonia. Flash floods swept cars down streets. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Across the Atlantic, multiple tornadoes touched down in Maryland as remnants of Hurricane Ida swept through. Footage broadcast by EAC News shows the worst of it just southwest of the city of Annapolis.

UN says Weather Disasters Getting Worse

The United Nations says weather disasters like these are becoming more frequent and costly. According to statistics, 31 million people were forced from their homes by natural disasters last year. That number is increasing. Mami Mizutori, who is with the UN’s Disaster Risk Reduction Agency, says with the pandemic and extreme weather events happening at the same time, we live in a “multi-hazard world”:

"The number of affected people in economic loss is getting higher and higher because of the increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and climate change and we have seen this year alone, during this summer, in the month of July, which was the hottest since record began, there were heat waves and there were floods, so, we are not, unfortunately in a safe place and the report tells us that the 50-year trend is quite, quite alarming."

That trend has seen floods and heatwaves driven by climate change increased five-fold. More than two million people have been killed. The economic cost is fast approaching $4-trillion.

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