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.