The devastating flash flood in El Salvador that left an estimated 47 people dead and over another 40 injured is described by authorities as the result of a combination of flooding, rapid evaporation, and melting snow. According to El Diario de Hoy, this all transpired because El Salvador’s rainy season ended at the beginning of February, but parts of the country experienced heavy rainfall soon after. At least four people drowned when their vehicles were swept away, and many others drowned or were trapped in buildings.

While the exact cause of the deadly floods remains unknown, significant weather patterns also can play a part. In Asia, for example, a record monsoon season means there is so much rainfall that it overwhelms dams across that region. From South Asia to Southeast Asia, the monsoon season generally runs from June to September and can bring anywhere from 25 to 90 percent of the entire annual rainfall in just a few days.

Below are the landmarks, historical and contemporary, that range across Latin America and Africa that tell the story of heavy rains, inundating cities, and virtually wreaking havoc on vast populations: