By YEET MAGAZINE Posted on August 30, 2021 at 8:45 am Updated Aug 30, 2021, 4:47 PM

Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on Sunday, plunging the city of New Orleans into darkness. Meanwhile, in the western United States, drought favors the emergence of devastating forest fires. These disasters are linked to climate change.

Des voitures endommagées par l'ouragan Ida à la Nouvelle-Orléans, devant un immeuble dévasté dans la nuit de dimanche à lundi.
Cars damaged by Hurricane Ida in New Orleans, in front of a devastated building on the night from Sunday to Monday. (SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Drought and devastating forest fires in the West, torrential rains and hurricanes in the East: this summer in the United States is marked by several extreme weather events. Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on Sunday. Classified in category 4, the hurricane unleashed, sixteen years to the day after Katrina, which killed more than 1,800 people in 2005.

With winds blowing at more than 240 km / h, Ida is accompanied by a rise in water that could exceed, in places, 4 meters high, according to the "New York Times" . This flood is testing the dikes, which were reinforced after Katrina. “Ida will be one of the strongest hurricanes to hit Louisiana since at least the 1850s,” state Governor John Bel Edwards warned on Saturday.

Power cuts

Almost a million homes were without power Monday morning after the destruction of high-voltage lines, and at least one person has died. This hurricane is all the more dangerous as it hits a state hit hard by the pandemic: hospitals in the region welcome more than 2,500 people, suffering from severe forms of Covid, which should complicate the care of possible injuries.

DECRYPTION - In the United States, the summer of disasters raises fears of immense economic consequences

Climate change makes extreme events, including hurricanes, more likely, scientists say. A few days earlier, another hurricane, baptized "Henri", threatened the coasts of New England, in the northeast of the country. Fortunately, the latter ran out of steam before reaching American territory. But heavy rains, falling on soggy ground, could still cause flooding. In Tennessee , "flash" floods killed 21 people last week.

VIDEO - Hurricane Ida: New Orleans finds itself without electricity

Drought and forest fires

While the eastern part of the country is affected by torrential rains and flooding, the western half of the United States is suffering from historic drought, according to the " New York Times" , which analyzed weather data covering the past thirty years. In California in particular, this lack of water contributes to the increase in forest fires.

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The Dixie Fire, which started on July 13, has already devastated more than 275,000 hectares of land. It is, according to the " Los Angeles Times ", the biggest fire in the history of California, after August Complex last year. The 5,000 or so firefighters on the ground are powerless to stop its progress.

Air quality alert

The fumes from this fire, along with those from the Caldor Fire further south and the Schneider Springs Fire in Washington State, spread for miles around. The authorities warn about the quality of the air , with a level of fine particles considered "bad for health", even "very bad" in several localities located in the northeast of California, in Nevada and Oregon .

Drought is also wreaking havoc on farmers in nearly every state in the western United States. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in 41 counties because of the lack of water. Some crops, including melon , are particularly affected by drought. In Arizona and Nevada, the drop in the level of the Colorado River has forced the federal government to impose water restrictions.

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