High-impact of weather and climate events in March 2005


The information summarized has been culled from international press reports and is indicative only. For official information, including final statistics, readers are advised to contact the National Meteorological Service of the country in question.

Floods - Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Madagascar, Pakistan

Floods caused by torrential rains and melting snow killed more than 200 people and destroyed thousands of homes. 

Islamic Republic of Iran
Floods triggered by the heaviest rain in 30 years caused at least three deaths and forced thousands to flee their homes. 

Floods in the aftermath of unusually heavy rains killed 13 people. Thousands were left homeless. A portion of the rice crop was destroyed. 

At least 41 people died in a flash flood caused by torrential rain. 

Storms - Kenya, USA 

Property was destroyed and a secondary school was closed after a freak storm destroyed buildings and injured students.  

Hailstorms, lightning and rain pounded the south-east, forcing people from their homes, washing out roads and flooding rivers. Parts of a dam failed near Albany, in Lee County, where 10 cm of rain fell in 24 hours.  

Tornadoes - Bangladesh, New Zealand 

Two tornadoes tore through northern Bangladesh, killing at least 37 people, injuring nearly 1,000 and leaving thousands homeless. Huts were blown away and one village was almost completely obliterated.  

New Zealand
A tornado tore through the town of Greymouth on the southern west coast, demolishing buildings and tossing shipping containers into the air. The tornado cut a swathe 300 m wide through the town, taking off roofs.

Drought - Cuba, South-East Asia, Zambia 

Cuba’s worst drought in a century left one in six people without running water. The prolonged drought affected the production of sugar and rice and led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of cattle.  

South-East Asia
A severe drought from China to India damaged crops and left millions of people struggling to find water. In Viet Nam, farmers burned thorns off cactus to feed the water-storing plants to their sheep.  

Low rainfall affected maize yields and some crops failed to mature due to the scorching heat.  

Heavy rain - Angola
Thousands of people were made homeless after heavy rains and floods.

Snowstorms - Canada, China, USA 

Snow, freezing rain and strong winds made travel treacherous in southern Manitoba. The Trans Canada highway was  closed from Winnipeg to Portage. Dozens of accidents due to poor visibility were reported.  

Snow- and rainstorms in south-west China killed at least 15 people. Blizzards and rainstorms ravaged mountain areas in Yunnan province, with snow reaching a depth of 96 cm in some places. The snow on higher mountains exceeded one metre. 

Hundreds of schools were closed and crews worked to clear slush and ice from highways following a series of snowstorms in the north-east. More than 33 cm of snow covered part the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Pennsylvania. 

Tropical storm - Philippines
A freak storm killed at least five people in the central Philippines.  

Tropical cyclone - Cook Islands
Cyclone Percy was the fourth such storm in the South Pacific nation in as many weeks. It wrecked two northern atolls and headed south with winds packing gusts of 255 km/h. There were no deaths or serious injuries, but the cyclones inflicted widespread damage to buildings, trees and crops. 

Landslide - Algeria 
The heaviest rain in decades hit Algeria’s Sahara desert killing at least three people. Floods and landslides destroyed dozens of houses and blocked roads in the province of Tamanrasset, 1 900 km south of the capital.

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