REGIONAL: 2022 HURRICANE SEASON
The United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) forecasts a 65 per cent chance of an above-average 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, with a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms, 6 to 10 becoming hurricanes and 3 to 6 evolving into major hurricanes. NOAA attributes the season’s expected intensity to several climate factors, including the ongoing La Niña phenomenon that is likely to persist throughout the season, warmer sea surface temperatures, weaker tropical Atlantic trade winds and strong west African monsoons and waves that may seed the season’s strongest and longest hurricanes.
Hurricane Agatha, the eastern Pacific’s first hurricane of the season, rapidly gained intensity and approached major hurricane status en route to Mexico’s southern Pacific coasts on 29 May. With sustained winds of 110 mph, Agatha is forecast to make landfall on 30 May in the evening near Salina Cruz, México, where there are hurricane warnings in effect extending to the east and to the west. Agatha is poised to bring the heaviest rainfall to the state of Oaxaca, with NOAA forecasting 10 to 16 inches of rain. Agatha’s north-eastern route may lead the storm’s eventual remnants to re-emerge into Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic in coming days, potentially redeveloping into another storm.
SOUTH AMERICA: FLOODING
UN agencies are working with the National Disaster Relief Coordination Centre (NCCR) to provide material and financial support and personnel over the coming days after officials designated parts of Suriname as disaster zones due to high flooding. Government officials listed the need for operational shelters for self-evacuees, transport logistics and food supplies as top priorities to respond to the effects of the floods, which come after months of incessant rains.
Parts of Guyana are also experiencing seasonal flooding, with the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) reporting flooded communities in Regions Five, Nine and Ten. Families in some communities are relocating to shelters and receiving water treatment supplies, cleaning kits and other non-food items from CDC, who have activated Regional Disaster Risk Management Centres in affected Regions. CDC is monitoring all Regions for developments amid weather services calling for continued rainfall across the country in coming days.
Civil Defence in the north-western state of Amazonas report that flooding has so far affected more than 306,800 people, with at least 35 municipalities declaring a state of emergency. National authorities report that flooding in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco caused 93 fatalities and has affected at least 60,000 people. Search and rescue teams from other states are supporting Pernambuco authorities.