In the early days of October 2020 deadly floods occurred on the borderline between France and Italy which produced infrastructure, economic and human losses. These floods were produced by an extratropical storm named “Storm Alex” that left behind the destruction of structures (roads, villages and one bridge), river overflows, disappearances, and the death of people in the regions of Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria.
The floods and ground slides created by this climatic phenomenon have been devastating. Until October 5th there is uncertainty on the missing people, and 12 deaths have been confirmed between France and Italy. In addition, there have been collapses of roads and bridges in some cities, and huge losses in villages located on the mountains. Another surprising fact corresponds to the precipitation levels as in some places the height was 630 millimeters (24.80 inches) in just 24 hours, which overcomes any previous storm measurements.
Extratropical storms are known as cyclones or depressions. These meteorological phenomena are characterized by an area in which the pressure exerted by the atmosphere is considerably lower than that of the surrounding air, which generates a cyclogenesis that results in tropical or extratropical storms, depending on their place of origin. Tropical storms on one hand correspond to those generated near the equator and tend to be directed towards North America, while extratropical storms are generated far from the tropics and tend to be directed towards Europe. According to the above, it is evident that the storm Alex is an extratropical storm as it originated in the border between France and Italy and moved towards the United Kingdom.
These phenomena have brought negative consequences for human beings such as floods, deaths, disappearances and structural collapses, that have resulted in serious economic and social repercussions. The foregoing evidences the need to work on strategies that mitigate the risk posed by these natural events and allow a better interaction between societies and nature.
▪ ▪ ▪
Tropical cyclones, also called hurricanes and typhoons, cause catastrophic damage when they strike land. When a cyclone’s fury unleashes on population centres, death, injury and wholesale destruction follow.