Flood Fury Ravages Pakistan, Over 30 Million Affected

Flood Fury Ravages Pakistan, Over 30 Million Affected

At least 1,000 persons have died, thousands evacuated and loss of property and infrastructure remains insurmountable

The impact of human-induced climate change is being felt across the world, with experts warning that extreme weather events are not stray events anymore, rather commonplace occurrences.

A case in point is severe floods in Pakistan which has declared a national emergency in the wake of the calamity. The country has witnessed heaviest rains since the early 1960s. The Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said relentless cycles of monsoon have affected some 30 million people.

Since mid-June, Pakistan has been ravaged by flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains. At least 1,000 persons have lost their lives, several others had to quit their homes and shift to safer places. The loss of property and infrastructure is insurmountable.

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Only a few months earlier, in March, Pakistan had witnessed the exact opposite weather phenomenon, as large swaths of the country saw temperatures rise as high as 50 degrees Celsius.

The unusual heat, coupled with below-average rainfall, also resulted in a reduction in crop yields and helped melt snow in the mountainous regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkwa, triggering at least one glacial lake outburst flood, according to World Meteorological Organization.

The U.N. agency Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update that the monsoon rains had affected some 3 million people in Pakistan of which 184,000 have been displaced to relief camps across the country.

Since mid-June, 3,000 kilometres of road, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes have been damaged, according to NDMA's last situation report, the OCHA report's figures revealed.

The World Meteorlogical Organization (WMO) noted that the extreme heat was made '30 times more likely because of climate change'. Such heat waves and humid heat stress will be more intense and frequent this century in South Asia, the WMO added.

The forecast is not limited to South Asia, however, with scientists expecting hot and dry weather to become increasingly common and severe in many other parts of the world.

“In the future, these kinds of heat waves are going to be normal. We have pumped so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that the negative trend will continue for decades. We haven’t been able to reduce our emissions globally,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, said earlier this year.

Read More: It’s Warmer Than Average, But What is Average?

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