Extreme weather is sweeping the world, with devastating floods and wildfires on 3 continents at once

Photos showing flooding in Germany, fire in the US, fire in Russia, and flooding in China.
Photos showing flooding in Germany, fire in the US, fire in Russia, and flooding in China. BERND LAUTER/AFP via Getty Images; USDA Forest Service via Getty Images; REUTERS/Roman Kutukov; Twitter/The Paper
  • The past week has seen extreme weather strike around the world.

  • China and Europe are fighting flooding while the US, Canada, and Russia have huge fires.

  • Worsening extreme weather is a consequence of the climate crisis, experts say.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Extreme weather is striking all over the world, illustrating how vulnerable swathes of humanity are natural disasters.

Some events - like wildfires sweeping the western US - are seasonal, while others came as a total surprise.

China and Western Europe were both hit by devastating floods in the past week, with a death toll beyond 100. In wooded eareas of Canada, the US, and Russia, vast swathes of land are ablaze.

Lethal flooding hit China

At least 16 people were dead in extreme flooding in the city of Zhengzhou, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Vehicles are stranded in floodwater near Zhengzhou Railway Station, July 20, 2021.

Video showed people trapped in a flooded subway car, and Reuters reported a flooded subway line was where 12 of those people died. Photos also show roads completely flooded.

Western Europe flooded

At the same time, Germany, Belgium, and Austria were dealing with the aftermath of devastating flooding that collapsed houses and turned roads into rivers.

The death toll as of Wednesday was more than 200 following flooding more severe than any to hit for decades.

Multiple cars and rubble in front of a building
A woman walks past cars and rubble piled up in a street after the floods caused major damage in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, western Germany, on July 16, 2021. CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images

The UK and Ireland are also experiencing heatwaves. In the UK, the weather office issued its first-ever extreme heat warning.

Oregon is battling a huge fire

Oregon is battling a fire so big that it can be seen from space and is creating its own weather.

NOAA satellite images show the Bootleg Fire in Oregon.
NOAA satellite images show the Bootleg Fire in Oregon. NOAA

The Bootleg Fire in the south of the state is the US's biggest wildfire so far this year, and has burned more than 340,000 acres, The New York Times reported.

Canada fighting fire too

Nearly 300 fires were burning across the province of British Columbia on Tuesday, and evacuation orders affected around 5,700 people, CBC reported.

There were also fires in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario, according to Global News. Canada recently had its hottest-ever day, in a heatwave so severe it caused hundreds of deaths and boiled shellfish in their shells.

Siberia is also ablaze

Forest fires have burned through 3.7 million acres of land in the north-east of Siberia, Russia, The Guardian reported.

Smoke has covered cities and towns, and forced the airport to close.

One person living in an affected village told The Guardian: "Emergency workers have come and villagers are also fighting the fires but they can't put them out, they can't stop them. Everything is on fire."

A firefighter battles a burning tree
A specialist of the local forest protection service works to extinguish a forest fire near the village of Magaras in the region of Yakutia, Russia July 17, 2021. REUTERS/Roman Kutukov

It is difficult to directly attribute individual weather events to the climate crisis. But experts are clear that longterm shifts in cliamte, caused by human activity, are making such events more frequent and severe .

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