Last week, Ottawa was hit by destructive storms reaching, in some areas, up to 190 kilometers per hour. No tornado has however touched down. “Analysis of the data reveals that a particularly intense downburst, not a tornado, was responsible for the damage” in south Ottawa, the Northern Tornadoes Project at Western University said on Twitter Wednesday morning. They measured the storm, known as a ‘derecho,’ as EF-2. The EF-scale measures the intensity of wind damage on a scale from 0 to 5.
Farmers in the region were hit pretty badly with greenhouse tunnels destroyed and thousands of dollars worth of produce destroyed because of the storm. In an interview with CBC, co-owner of Heart City Farm, Kalen Stevens-Heap stated:
“It was a tough blow, but I mean, I keep saying it’s just so representative of everything that farming is. There are always things that just happen that are completely out of your control, and it’s our job to just pivot and responds. And we’re really only able to do that as we’ve done it this week because of all the love that we’re receiving.”
The Storm Is Yet Another Sign That We Need To Take Climate Actions
As John Stone, a member of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change argues in the Citizen this week, it’s past time governments took the issue of climate change adaptation seriously, developing innovative technologies and policies to help us cope with our altered climate. We need, he says, “to build our resilience against inevitable bouts of extreme weather and its existential consequences for human civilization and life on this planet.” And he points out that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently issued a very practical report on how to go about this.
Ottawa and Canada is not the only regions hit by climate change impacts, as earlier this year India and Europe have been hit by droughts and unusually high temperatures for the season.