‘A Monsoon on Steroids.’ What To Know About Pakistan’s Catastrophic Floods
A staggering one-third of the country was underwater as of this week, with more than 30 million people affected.
The immediate cause of the catastrophic floods is record rainfall. “So far this year the rain is running at more than 780% above average levels,” said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, a director at Pakistan’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Melting glaciers—Pakistan has more glaciers than any other country—is also contributing to the floods, which are linked to climate change.
The U.N. said Tuesday that it is seeking $160 million in emergency aid for the ongoing floods, noting that nearly 1 million homes had been damaged and more than 700,000 livestock were lost. Humanitarian relief has started to arrive in the country, but efforts have been hampered by extensive infrastructural damage; over 2,000 miles of roads and 150 bridges have been affected. The IMF approved a bail-out of $1.1bn to help Pakistan avoid defaulting on its debts.