High-impact of weather and climate events in May 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.

Storms, heavy rain and floods - Australia, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, Tajikistan, USA, Viet Nam 

Storms in Western Australia’s south-west damaged the historic St Patrick’s Cathedral in the town of Bunbury. Weeks of heavy rain caused cracks in the building’s walls to widen. 

Storms lashed Bangladesh with lightning and rain, killing at least 21 people, injuring more than 1 000 others and levelling about 1 000 homes. The dead were all struck by lightning.  

Lightning killed at least three people in storms which flooded farmland and destroyed roads.  

At least four people were killed and 11 injured in storms in Guangdong Province. More than 2  000 reservoirs spilled. 

Floods killed 112 people. More than 105 000 people were affected in Ethiopia’s eastern Somali region as torrential rains continue pounded the region for days.  

Floods caused by heavy rains killed at least four people and displaced thousands. 

At least eight people were killed by a rainstorm which cut off power and flooded hundreds of homes in the southern state of Oaxaca. The storm raged on for days, blowing off roofs and felling trees. 

Sea surge and heavy rain caused residents of Victoria Island to evacuate. 

Heavy rains in western Romania caused the worst flooding in 50 years. Some 3 700 people had to abandon their homes;  rail and road traffic was disrupted.  

Saudi Arabia
Flash floods killed at least 34 people, sweeping cars off roads and destroying houses and livestock.

A week of heavy rain damaged more than 660 houses and 12 km of roads were destroyed by flooding, as well as 320 hectares of cotton and other crops. 

Severe thunderstorms, with hail and damaging winds were reported in Florida. Heavy rain also moved through Texas and Oklahoma, as well as parts of the west.  

Viet Nam
High winds and hailstorms killed one person and injured 20 others in Thanh Hoa province, some 200 km south of Hanoi. 

Drought and locusts - Australia, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Ethiopia, Niger, Spain, Yemen

Australian wheat and other winter grain crops were devastated on a similar scale to three years ago when the worst drought in the century struck. Very dry, hot weather persisted across much of Australia after 25 April, a rule-of-thumb date when good rain is normally required to set up good winter crops in this top grain exporting nation.  

Swarms of locusts invaded car windscreens, blinding drivers and halting traffic for up to four hours along a 40 km stretch of highway between Dhaka and Chittagong.  

The far north of Cameroon was attacked by swarms of locust, raising fears of food shortages in a region where low rainfall had already affected crop yields.

China was faced with severe drought and floods. Water supplies and grain production were under threat. 

The combination of drought followed by floods caused an acute food emergency in a country where 4 million people need food aid to survive. 

A swarm of locusts descended on a town in south-eastern Niger, where millions of people already faced food shortages. Locusts ate plants and leaves and also caused power cuts by weighing down electricity cables.  

Spain suffered its driest winter and early spring since records began almost 60 years ago. Rainfall from November to the end of March was 37 per cent below average for the period and the lowest since records started in 1947. With water reserves were at 60 per cent of full capacity.  

As temperatures rose above 30°C, water tankers supplied households left dry by public shortages. Many Yemenis were faced with severe scarcity of water.   

Duststorm - Pakistan
A heavy duststorm coupled with torrential rain lashed several districts. Trees were uprooted, electric poles and hoardings toppled and roofs of houses blown off.  

Snow - USA
Snow and rain fell across Wyoming and Utah, unleashing rockslides and flooding; nearly 60 cm of snow fell in the mountains. 

Hurricane - El Salvador
Hurricane Adrian, the first of the 2005 Eastern North Pacific season, slammed into El Salvador and broke up over Honduras with heavy rains, threatening flash floods and mudslides across Central America. Adrian killed two people and 23 000 evacuees took refuge in emergency shelters.

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