Floods Kill Hundreds in Afghanistan, Brazil, and Indonesia

May 13, 2024

Heavy rains from a season of severe weather have struck Afghanistan, Brazil, and Indonesia in recent days. The floods have killed hundreds of people and forced hundreds of thousands more out of their homes. Rescue workers are still rushing to find the missing and aid those who've been hurt.

Flash floods struck villages in northern Afghanistan over the weekend. At least 315 people died and 1,600 others were injured, officials said. In southern Brazil, floods from heavy rains have killed 143 people. They also left 400,000 others without homes. This took place in Rio Grande do Sul state.  

And in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province, hard rains sent cold lava and mud flowing through mountain villages. The floods and mudslides killed 37 people. They also buried 100 buildings. More than a dozen others are still missing, officials said Sunday. 

Scientists blame the floods on climate change. It's hurting less wealthy nations more because they aren’t as ready to cope with them.  

Indonesia, Brazil, and Afghanistan rank low on the list of all countries for being prepared for bad weather from climate change. That's what the Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative says. The group's index ranks countries on how vulnerable they are to climate change. It also ranks them for how ready they are to cope with extreme weather from climate change. The three countries ranked, respectively, 102, 125, and 180 out of 192 nations in terms of their “readiness” for climate change disasters.   

But scientists say that no matter how prepared countries are, no place on Earth is immune from the threats posed by climate change. 

“Climate change,” Katharine Hayhoe, the Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, told The Associated Press, “is loading the weather dice against us in every part of the world.” 

Reflect: What are some of the ways people can help those in other countries who have been affected by a natural disaster? 

Photo of flooding in Rio Grande do Sul from Reuters.

Which of the following words could best replace “cope” in the fifth paragraph without changing the meaning of the passage? (Common Core RI.5.4; RI.6.4)
a. deal
b. avoid
c. retreat
d. embrace
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