'Climate Catastrophe': Floods Kill Over 1,100 People in Pakistan This Summer

'Climate Catastrophe': Floods Kill Over 1,100 People in Pakistan This Summer

The 2022 monsoon season has been the most destructive of the past 10 years.

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This aerial view shows a flooded residential area after heavy monsoon rains in Balochistan province on August 29, 2022
This aerial view shows a flooded residential area after heavy monsoon rains in Balochistan province on August 29, 2022
Photo: FIDA HUSSAIN/AFP (Getty Images)

Pakistan is being pummeled by the worst floods the country has experienced in over a decade. Sherry Rehman, the country’s climate minister, has called this a “serious climate catastrophe,” Al Jazeera reported.

More than 30 million people across the country have been affected by the torrential rains and seemingly never-ending floods, Reuters reported. Over 1,100 people have died from the rains and floods since this June, while hundreds of thousands have been evacuated to escape the floods, PBS News reported. Major roads and highways in the country have been inundated, and some bridges have been washed away, making it harder for some to evacuate.

The damage has also made it more difficult for aid to reach badly affected areas, according to PBS News. Aid workers and agencies in Pakistan have been overwhelmed by the infrastructural damage and the number of people in need of aid. Villages in mountainous areas that are cut off from larger towns and cities have become especially difficult to reach.

Officials worry for Pakistan’s stability, as crops and farms are being destroyed in the floodwaters. Agriculture makes up more than a quarter of the country’s labor, according to the United Nations.

Monsoon season across Pakistan usually begins in June and continues until the end of September. Countries across South Asia and other parts of the tropics around the globe experience a very rainy season every year. But a warming climate means more rain. Warmer air holds more moisture, and extreme rainfall events are occurring more frequently. Regions that are used to monsoons are now seeing greater rainfall than they are accustomed to. This also means that some monsoon seasons are beginning earlier in the year, giving people less time to prepare for the upcoming rain.

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Overwhelmed aid workers

Overwhelmed aid workers

Rescue workers help evacuate people from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Rajanpur district of Punjab province on August 27, 2022.
Rescue workers help evacuate people from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Rajanpur district of Punjab province on August 27, 2022.
Photo: SHAHID SAEED MIRZA/AFP (Getty Images)
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Flooded communities

Flooded communities

Armed members of Alkhidmat Foundation patrol on a boat at a residential area submerged in floodwater in Nowshera of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on August 29, 2022.
Armed members of Alkhidmat Foundation patrol on a boat at a residential area submerged in floodwater in Nowshera of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on August 29, 2022.
Photo: ABDUL MAJEED/AFP (Getty Images)
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Infrastructural damage

Infrastructural damage

Residents gather beside a road damaged by flood waters following heavy monsoon rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29, 2022.
Residents gather beside a road damaged by flood waters following heavy monsoon rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29, 2022.
Photo: Abdul MAJEED / AFP (Getty Images)
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Displaced families

Displaced families

Displaced people sit in their tents at a makeshift camp after fleeing from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29, 2022.
Displaced people sit in their tents at a makeshift camp after fleeing from their flood-hit homes following heavy monsoon rains in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29, 2022.
Photo: ABDUL MAJEED/AFP (Getty Images)
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Distributing aid

Distributing aid

Army soldiers distribute relief food bags to flood-affected people in Shikarpur of Sindh province on August 28, 2022.
Army soldiers distribute relief food bags to flood-affected people in Shikarpur of Sindh province on August 28, 2022.
Photo: ASIF HASSAN/AFP (Getty Images)
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Collapsed homes

Collapsed homes

A  man walks over his collapsed mud house after heavy monsoon rains in Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, on August 28, 2022.
A man walks over his collapsed mud house after heavy monsoon rains in Jaffarabad district, Balochistan province, on August 28, 2022.
Photo: Fida HUSSAIN / AFP (Getty Images)
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Damaged roads

Damaged roads

People gather next to a section of a road damaged by flood waters following heavy monsoon rains in Madian area in Pakistan’s northern Swat Valley on August 27, 2022.
People gather next to a section of a road damaged by flood waters following heavy monsoon rains in Madian area in Pakistan’s northern Swat Valley on August 27, 2022.
Photo: Abdul MAJEED / AFP (Getty Images)
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Flooded railway tracks

Flooded railway tracks

Livestock is seen secured to an elevated railway track in a flooded area after heavy monsoon rains in Jacobabad, Sindh province, on August 26, 2022.
Livestock is seen secured to an elevated railway track in a flooded area after heavy monsoon rains in Jacobabad, Sindh province, on August 26, 2022.
Photo: Asif HASSAN / AFP (Getty Images)
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