The scale of Pakistan flooding in maps, photos and videos


Ratodero, a town in Pakistan’s Sindh province, about 500 kilometers north of Karachi, was badly hit by recent flooding that destroyed homes on August 29. (Video: Reuters)


“A monsoon on steroids.”

Officials are struggling to put into words the magnitude of the floods that have devastated large parts of Pakistan. More than 1,000 people have died and tens of millions more have been affected by months of incessant rain.

the flooding became catastrophic in recent weeks when monsoon season rainfall flooded the low-lying areas near the Indus River. Water flowed from the banks to the surrounding plains, destroying infrastructure and homes.

Maxar Technologies has released satellite images of the city of Rojhan, in the state of Punjab, before and during the floods, showing that entire communities have been cut off.

As Pakistan grapples with the loss of housing, farmland and the risk of disease, many fear the humanitarian catastrophe in the country is only just beginning.

190 percent more rain than usual

Exceptional rainfall began across Pakistan in June after months of historic heatwaves and low rainfall.

The ground was dry and loose from the record heat, causing landslides across the country. Melting glaciers caused flooding.

Precipitation increased even more as the monsoon season started in July, which became the wettest since 1961, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department.

Pakistan has had eight rounds of widespread rain this monsoon season, about double the normal amount. The country has had 190 percent more rain than average from early June to late August. When the Indus River swelled from constant precipitation and the glaciers melted, low-lying areas were devastated.

The past two weeks have brought even more rain to the southern region of Pakistan.

Estimated 15 days of rainfall

Source: NASA Global Precipitation

Measurement mission:

Estimated 15 days of rainfall

Source: NASA Global Precipitation

Measurement mission:

Estimated 15 days of rainfall

Source: NASA

Global Precipitation

Measurement mission:

Satellite images from August 28 to 30 showed visible floodplains.

In the provinces of Baluchistan and Sindh, rain fell 410 percent and 466 percent above average from the beginning of June to August 29, respectively. The ensuing floods have devastated cities and turned lives upside down.

Floods in Pakistan detected from

satellite images on August 28 and 30.

Source: NASA Terra/MODIS, Facebook

and Columbia University-CIESIN

Pakistan floods detected from satellite

images on August 28 and 30.





Source: NASA Terra/MODIS, Facebook

and Columbia University-CIESIN

Floods in Pakistan detected from

satellite images on August 28 and 30





Source: NASA Terra/MODIS,

Facebook and Colombia


“It has been raining in my village for the past two months,” said Zahid Ali Jalalani, a 35-year-old farmer in Khairpur district, Sindh, who spoke to The Washington Post by phone. After a canal burst last week, his village flooded overnight, with water rising to 10 feet in some areas. On the other side of the south, families waded through high tides in search of dry land.

People waded chest-high in Mingora, Pakistan, on Aug. 24 when floods wreaked havoc in the Swat district. (Video: Sungin Khan via Storyful)

“It was the most horrible night of my life,” he said. “My house is well built, but at one point it seemed like the walls were shaking.”

More than 1,160 people dead

The extreme flooding has killed more than 1,160 people, many of them children, according to the Pakistani government.

Jalalani came out of his house to the sound of cries for help, he recalled. He said he spent more than six hours rescuing people trapped by the water, which had risen above their shoulders. He knew a man who drowned.

“It was covered in rubble and we couldn’t get it out,” Jalalani said. “It was so dark.”

Hundreds of people from his village are in makeshift camps, while nearly 500,000 people are in refugee camps across the country.

Thousands more who have fled their homes in Sindh are still struggling to find care. Many walked for days in search of shelter and set up tents along the main road of the province. Others have moved to abandoned buildings.

At a high school in the city of Jamshoro, hundreds of people gathered in classrooms and surrounding gardens. Most had nothing but the clothes in which they fled.

Ghulam Qadir, 17, escaped from his village two weeks ago. He and five of his family members have been sleeping in a classroom for over a week.

“We left our house when the water almost reached my neck,” Qadir said. His house started to collapse. Two rooms collapsed and another began to crumble. “I was worried about my family, especially the children,” he said.

The government estimates that 33 million people have been affected by the floods, about 13 percent of the population.

Pakistanis in Baluchistan were left homeless on August 28 after the region was inundated by heavy rains and flooding. (Video: Associated Press)

The World Health Organization said on Wednesday that 888 health facilities were damaged, even if experts warned the disaster could lead to an increase in disease and malnutrition. Standing water can act as a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry dengue fever and malaria.

Erum Khan, researcher into vector-borne diseases, said the number of dengue fever cases has already increased since the flooding. Her lab at Aga Khan University in Karachi reported more than 200 cases in August, compared with fewer than 30 in April. “The actual numbers are probably much higher,” Khan added.

Due to the destruction, parts of the country can no longer function. Officials said Tuesday that 1 million homes have been destroyed, as well as 2,100 miles of road — roughly the distance between DC and Salt Lake City. Bridges and dams were also destroyed. Pakistan’s Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Monday it would take more than $10 billion to rebuild.

Thousands of acres of farmland are under water and rescuers struggle to reach isolated communities.

“What awaits us is food shortages that affect villages and towns alike,” Khan said.

Sindh’s agricultural economy “has completely collapsed,” Iqbal said at a news conference on Tuesday. “Nearly half of our cotton crop has been destroyed,” he said. Rice has also been damaged and 700,000 animals have been lost across the country. He called the floods a “climate disaster” and said Pakistan, one of the world’s lowest per capita carbon dioxide emitters, is suffering the worst from climate change.

“Someone pays the price in the developing world,” Iqbal said.

Villagers in Dera Murad Jamali, Pakistan, faced hardship on August 28 as most of their assets and income was washed away in the recent floods. (Video: Associated Press)

Ruby Mellen, Kasha Patel and Laris Karklis reported from Washington. Susannah George reported from Kabul. Haq Nawaz Khan reported from Jamshoro, Pakistan. Shaiq Hussain reported from Islamabad. Gerry Shih reported from Delhi.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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