Hurricane Julia Triggers Deadly Floods, Landslide in Venezuela

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The Facts

  • On Saturday, a month's worth of rain fell in 8 hours in central Venezuela, causing five small rivers to flood and triggering a deadly landslide in the town of Tejerias [Las Tejerías].

  • As of Monday, local authorities and media outlets reported 22 fatalities and another 52 people missing. 1.5K officials have been deployed to the area to support search and rescue operations, as moderate-to-heavy rainfall is forecast to continue.

The Spin

Narrative A

Climate change seems to have thrown the planet a curveball with this unexpected "triple dip" La Niña. At some point, El Niño is expected to become more dominant in a warming world, but the research community has much to learn about the subtleties of oceans and even how Antarctica may play a role. In the meantime, Latin American nations hit hard by La Niña are forced to cope for an unusual third year in a row.

Narrative B

Latin America has a long and rich history of coping with El Niño and La Niña events. For example, cultures in areas such as Peru show patterns of resilience dating back millennia, including abandoning high-risk areas during times of disaster. We must be cautious in overstating the influence of climate change on cultures and catastrophes in the region - there is a long period of record showing perseverance during challenging times.

Nerd narrative

There's a 50% chance that global CO2 emissions will peak by October 2036, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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