Pakistan Suffering From 'Crisis of Unimaginable Proportions'

One-third of country is under water due to historic monsoon season
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2022 3:10 PM CDT

As water shortages plague the US, Pakistan is suffering a very opposite problem. A brutal and historic monsoon season has left "a trail of deadly havoc" across the country, reports the BBC, washing out roads and crops and isolating entire villages. Minister of Climate Change Sherry Rehman makes clear that's no hyperbole: "Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we've seen in the past," she tells the AFP, calling it “a crisis of unimaginable proportions” and describing the land as "one big ocean." One in 7 Pakistanis are thought to be impacted by the flooding, which has killed at least 1,100 over the course of the monsoon season, 75 in the last day.

One million homes have been wiped out, as have 2,200 miles of roads. CNN reports UN Sec. Gen. Antonio Guterres announced a $160 million appeal for emergency aid on Tuesday, saying Pakistan is "facing a monsoon on steroids—the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding." On Tuesday, China sent 3,000 tents and Japan sent additional shelters for those who have been forced to evacuate to ill-equipped emergency camps. Although Pakistan has seen devastating floods in the past, including in 2010, this year’s monsoon appears to have exceeded anything in living memory.

Per the Washington Post, one town in the southeastern Sindh province recorded 48 inches of rain over the past two months. Experts attribute the "growing number of extreme weather events" to rising temperatures, which enable the air to hold more water. To that end, the Post notes Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday called for developed nations to provide financial support, placing the blame for such extreme weather events on them. (More Pakistan flooding stories.)

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