A deadly week-long heat wave has killed at least 30 people in the US, and at least 144 people died in flash floods in Russia. Flood warnings also have been posted in Britain.
"This is becoming a black swan of heat waves, in the sense that it's such a long heat wave, such a severe heat wave and encompassing such a large area," according to Chris Vaccaro, spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Midwest and East Coast are baking in temperatures that have passed 40 degree Celsius, or 105 Fahrenheit.
Several deaths were attributed to power outages, and three elderly people with heart disease succumbed to the resulting heat stress. The heat was so intense that it caused several highways to buckle and at least one train line to curl, causing a derailment.
One person in New York City was so hot that he simply rode aimlessly on the subway to cool off for half an hour.
Half way around the world, flash floods swept through a region in Russia, killing at least 144 people, most of them in the area of the city of Krymsk. Dozens of people are missing, and the death toll is expected to rise. In the picture below (Reuters), a car remains submerged in flood waters in southern Russia.
Houses were completely submerged under water in some areas following 28 centimeters – 11 inches – of rain. People were seen running out of their houses in underwear and with their children wrapped in blankets, leaving behind all of their personal belongings.
In Britain, days of rains have closed down a major highway, and more than 200 flood warnings and alerts were posted. Five inches of rain, nearly three times the average, were recorded in some parts of the country in what has been called the wettest early summer in 90 years.
The heavy rains are expected to subside by the time the Olympics begin in three weeks, but the long-term forecast calls for cloudy and drizzly weather.
Swimming and other indoor competitions will not be affected, but wet fields will likely affect track and field events.