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Mudslide in Japan

Another sign of climate change.

You cannot attribute every disaster that is weather-related to climate change. The connections are tenuous, and yet what we are seeing today, around the world, are more frequent and more severe weather-related disasters.

Just here in the United States we’ve had record heat in the West and storms and flooding in the East. Now, we are on the cusp of what may turn out to be a record fire season due to extreme drought and those record high temperatures.

It is not just the United States that is dealing with these weather extremes. Over the holiday weekend we saw this Japan mudslide tear about portions of one city, as reported by CBS News.

There are other weather impacts also affecting Africa as the desert expands into what was livable land.

I have one last thought about older infrastructure, be it roads, bridges, dams or levees — all are more vulnerable to extreme weather events either because the event exceeds the design specifications or the age and lack of maintenance or replacement have made the infrastructure fragile when major disasters strike.
Eric Holdeman is a nationally known emergency manager. He has worked in emergency management at the federal, state and local government levels. Today he serves as the Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR), which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). The focus for his work there is engaging the public and private sectors to work collaboratively on issues of common interest, regionally and cross jurisdictionally.
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