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‘We can’t keep kicking it down the road’: why Ireland must prepare for more extreme weather

As severe and fatal flooding in Germany underlines the importance of being ready to deal with climate change, Caroline O’Doherty hears how early action is essential to minimise risk to human life, property and the economy

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Caravans, gas tanks, trees and scrap piles up on a bridge over the Ahr in Altenahr, Germany after severe flooding earlier this week

Caravans, gas tanks, trees and scrap piles up on a bridge over the Ahr in Altenahr, Germany after severe flooding earlier this week

Volunteers and residents start the clean up after severe flash flooding in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany on Sunday

Volunteers and residents start the clean up after severe flash flooding in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany on Sunday

Roads are impassable around Athlone, Co Westmeath due to the flooding of the Shannon River in 2015. Picture by Hany Marzouk

Roads are impassable around Athlone, Co Westmeath due to the flooding of the Shannon River in 2015. Picture by Hany Marzouk

Keith Lambkin from Met Éireann.

Keith Lambkin from Met Éireann.

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Caravans, gas tanks, trees and scrap piles up on a bridge over the Ahr in Altenahr, Germany after severe flooding earlier this week

In the German city of Hamburg where Dr Cormac Walsh lives, plaques on walls indicate the high-water mark from the terrible flood of 1962 when hundreds died and tens of thousands lost their homes.

Remembering is an important part of readiness in dealing with natural disasters.


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