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Typhoons, Floods, Heat Waves Batter Asia

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Typhoons, Floods, Heat Waves Batter Asia
People visit The Bund before typhoon Ampil landfall on July 22, 2018 in Shanghai, China. VCG / Getty Images

From flash floods in Vietnam to a blistering heat wave in Japan, countries across Asia are suffering from extreme weather, CNN reported Sunday.

The events come nearly two months into the continent's annual rainy season that extends from June to November, according to The Straits Times.


A 2016 study showed that typhoons in Asia had gotten 50 percent more intense in the last 40 years due to increased ocean temperatures and were likely to get even more intense due to climate change, The Guardian reported.

In Vietnam, Typhoon Son Tinh made landfall as a tropical depression on Wednesday, The Straits Times reported.

It led to flash floods and landslides that claimed at least 21 lives and inundated villages in the country's north, CNN reported.

The flooding has damaged 15,000 homes and submerged 110,000 hectares (approximately 271815.92 acres) of farmland, The Straits Times reported.

In Shanghai, another tropical storm forced more than 190,000 people to evacuate as it made landfall Sunday afternoon.

"Ampil, the 10th typhoon this year, has made landfall on the island of Chongming in Shanghai at 12:30 p.m. local time Sunday (12:30 a.m. ET), packing winds of up to 28 meters (approximately 75.5 feet) per second near its eye," the municipal meteorological observatory told state-run media outlet Xinhua, according to CNN.

Both of these storms also battered the Philippines, which is now seeing the end of Tropical Depression 13W or Josie.

Philippines authorities said Saturday that at least five people have died and more than 700,000 have been impacted by floods and landslides caused by heavy rain, The Straits Times reported.

Finally, a deadly heat wave has struck Japan as it recovers from catastrophic flooding.

The heat wave has lasted two weeks and killed at least 30 people, BBC News reported Saturday.

The government issued new warnings Monday as the nation's highest ever temperature of 41.1 degrees Celsius (approximately 106 degrees Fahrenheit) was recorded in Kumagaya in Saitama outside Tokyo, The Times of India reported.

Temperatures in Kyoto have stayed above 38 degrees Celsius (approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for seven days, the longest in recorded history.

CNN's Van Dam reported that the heat wave had impacted around 90 percent of the country and that the heat index, which factors in humidity, had risen into the 40s.

"Sweating is only as good as your body's ability to evaporate that sweat off of the skin. Heat indices in the mid 40s are making it nearly impossible for the body's response to properly take effect," he told CNN.

The heat wave is also making it harder for volunteers working in areas of the country hit by devastating floods earlier in the month, BBC News reported.

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On Friday, Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth declared a state of environmental emergency.

France has sent a military aircraft carrying pollution control equipment from the nearby island of Reunion to help mitigate the disaster. Additionally, Japan has sent a six-member team to assist as well, the BBC reported.

The teams are working to pump out the remaining oil from the ship, which was believed to be carrying 4,000 metric tons of fuel.

"We are expecting the worst," Mauritian Wildlife Foundation manager Jean Hugues Gardenne said on Monday, The Weather Channel reported. "The ship is showing really big, big cracks. We believe it will break into two at any time, at the maximum within two days. So much oil remains in the ship, so the disaster could become much worse. It's important to remove as much oil as possible. Helicopters are taking out the fuel little by little, ton by ton."

Sunil Dowarkasing, a former strategist for Greenpeace International and former member of parliament in Mauritius, told CNN that the ship contains three oil tanks. The one that ruptured has stopped leaking oil, giving disaster crews time to use a tanker and salvage teams to remove oil from the other two tanks before the ship splits.

By the end of Tuesday, the crew had removed over 1,000 metric tons of oil from the ship, NPR reported, leaving about 1,800 metric tons of oil and diesel, according to the company that owns the ship. So far the frantic efforts are paying off. Earlier today, a local police chief told BBC that there were still 700 metric tons aboard the ship.

The oil spill has already killed marine animals and turned the turquoise water black. It's also threatening the long-term viability of the country's coral reefs, lagoons and shoreline, NBC News reported.

"We are starting to see dead fish. We are starting to see animals like crabs covered in oil, we are starting to see seabirds covered in oil, including some which could not be rescued," said Vikash Tatayah, conservation director at Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, according to The Weather Channel.

While the Mauritian authorities have asked residents to leave the clean-up to officials, locals have organized to help.

"People have realized that they need to take things into their hands. We are here to protect our fauna and flora," environmental activist Ashok Subron said in an AFP story.

Reuters reported that sugar cane leaves, plastic bottles and human hair donated by locals are being sewn into makeshift booms.

Human hair absorbs oil, but not water, so scientists have long suggested it as a material to contain oil spills, Gizmodo reported. Mauritians are currently collecting as much human hair as possible to contribute to the booms, which consist of tubes and nets that float on the water to trap the oil.

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