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Flood in Pakistan 2010:

Among the extreme weather events of summer 2010, the extensive floods in
Pakistan and their widespread impacts garnered maximum attention in the
media as well as in the scientific community.

You can’t exactly go around ranking the horror of different kinds of natural
disasters, but if you did, flooding would score major points for immediate
destructive impact and long-term damage. In the short term, people die in
the flood water or from the immediate damage to infrastructure. In the long
run, they go hungry as a result of damaged crops, suffer and die from water-
borne diseases, and then suffer and die some more because the floods
destroyed sources of clean water.

In the year 2010 Pakistan floods began in late July, resulting from heavy
monsoon rains that tore through the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and
Baluchistan regions of Pakistan and affected around 20 million people mostly
by damaging their property, livelihood and infrastructure, with a death toll of
close to 2,000. Approximately one-fifth of Pakistan's total land area was
underwater. More than 1.1 million houses were completely destroyed or
made unliveable and more than 2 million hectares of standing crops were
damaged or lost. Several large cities were also been submerged.

Pakistan’s Indus River and its tributaries flooded a city and surrounding
farmlands in southern Punjab province, adding to 12 million people affected
by the worst monsoon floods in the country’s history. The world body
estimates that hundreds of millions – possibly reaching into the billions to
restore livelihoods over the long run – will be required for relief operations.

Unprecedented Floods struck several of Punjab's districts moving


downstream. The Punjab Relief and Crisis Management Department (RCMD)
said 1,343 villages were affected and more than 25,000 houses destroyed.
Cotton planted on 1.4 million acres was damaged in the Punjab and may lead
to higher imports, according to the Pakistan Kissan Board, a farmers’ group.
As much as 5 percent of the rice crop may be damaged, threatening the
nation’s export target of 4.2 million metric tons, Malik Jahangir, president of
the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan said.

“Announcements were made in mosques and army people informed the


people before hand about the upcoming flood, but we thought they were just
scaring us," said a tearful Nazir Sahoo from the rooftop of his almost
submerged single-storey house in Deira Din Panah. Pakistan’s army led the
relief effort, evacuating people, distributing drinking water and food and
repairing bridges and roads.

The people who have made it out of the flood-ravaged areas are crammed
in makeshift shelters or in overcrowded government buildings. Those who
escaped the floods find themselves without access to food, clean drinking
water, sanitation and medicine. All of this has exacerbated the crisis, as
many more are likely to die as the result of diarrhea, cholera and other
diseases.

Flooding has become Pakistan worst national disaster. The floods which have
devastated huge areas of Pakistan may be an act of nature, but the
worsening humanitarian crisis that followed is a direct result of the failures of
Pakistan's venal leaders – and the impact of the U.S. “war on terror”.

Bibliography:

1. Alanna Shaikh, 2010, Pakistan’s Flooding-What does it mean for


Health, Global Network for NIDS, 2010
2. Anwar Shakir & Khurrum Anis, Pakistanis Flee Punjab City as Floods Hit
12Million, Business Week, 2010

Links:
http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-08-09/pakistanis-flee-punjab-city-as-
floods-hit-12-million.html

http://mceer.buffalo.edu/infoservice/disasters/pakistan-floods-2010.asp

http://endtheneglect.org/2010/08/pakistan%E2%80%99s-flooding-%E2%80%93-
what-does-it-mean-for-health/