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Pakistan Declares Emergency As Floods Hit Over 30 Million People

 

What has happened?

  • Pakistan has been hit by the worst monsoon floods in recent memory, the government has said.
  • The floods are said to be bigger than the 2010 ‘superflood’ that impacted 20 million people and killed almost 2,000, according to government estimates.
  • Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change, tweeted— almost 15% of Pakistan’s population — had been affected and 1,041 had been killed in the floods until August 27.
  • The Pakistani daily Dawn reported on Sunday (August 28) morning that
  • “More than half of Pakistan is under water and millions of people have been rendered homeless” by the floods caused by the abnormal monsoon rain that has entered its “eighth spell with no signs of subsiding”.

How bad is monsoon this year?

  • Pakistan struggles during the June-August monsoon season every year, but 2022 has been especially bad.
  • The rainfall usually begins only in July, but this year, it started raining heavily in June itself, triggering floods.
  • Almost 300 people had been killed between late June and mid-July.

  • The normal rainfall in Pakistan for the three-month July 1 to September 30 period is 140.9 mm, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD).
  • Last year (2021), Pakistan was in 11.3% deficit of this figure, having received 125 mm of rain.
  • This year, the country received as much as 354.3 mm of rain between July 1 and August 26, the PMD said.
  • This was 211% more than the normal of 113.7 mm during this period.

  • PMD data for the period August 1-26 showed Pakistan as a whole received 176.8 mm of rain, a deviation of 251% from the normal of 50.4 mm for this period.

Most affected region?

  • The southern region of Sindh has been the worst affected in August, having received 442.5 mm of rain this month until the 26th, which is 784% more than the 50 mm normal for the period August 1-26, according to the PMD.
  • Balochistan is the other badly-hit region, which has got 129.7 mm of rain from August 1-26, a deviation of 522% from the normal 20.9 mm in the region for this period.
  • Even Gilgit Baltistan, which receives a meagre 12.4 mm of rain, has received 40.1 mm during August 1-26, a deviation of 225%.
  • “Our cities not designed for such torrential downpours without a break,” Rehman tweeted.

Is it due to climate change?

  • Extreme weather events around the world have been seen as evidence of climate change.
  • Europe is currently facing perhaps the worst drought in 500 years after a summer of record-breaking day temperatures and massive bush fires, and China and parts of the United States too are going through drought.
  • Rehman said Pakistan is passing through “climate catastrophe”. She said: “Pakistan is living through a serious climate catastrophe, one of the hardest in the decade.
  • We are at the moment at the ground zero, the frontline, of an extreme weather event, in an unrelenting cascade of heatwaves, forest fires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outbursts, flood events, and now the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking non-stop havoc throughout the country.”

Global climate risk index

  • Pakistan has consistently ranked among the countries that are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index, that tracks the human and economic toll that large extreme weather events take.
  • Pakistan is estimated to have lost almost 10,000 lives and losses of $4 billion as a result of climate-related disasters between 1998 and 2018.
  • Other most-at-risk Asian countries in the Index are Bangladesh, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

Q) Which of the following is not part of geological disaster?

  1. Volcanoes
  2. Earthquakes
  3. Tsunami
  4. Sea Surge

 

 

 

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