Southern Pakistan Hit By Worst Floods in Living Memory

If you thought the flooding in the northeast in the wake of Hurricane Irene and subsequent storms dropping heavy rain, thank your lucky stars you're not in Pakistan. In a repeat of last summer, the nation is again in the grips of catastrophic flooding, with 5.4 million people in Sindh and Baluchistan provinces affected by the flooding, 1.8 million people in Sindh driven from their homes (665,000 of which have been destroyed), and 223 people killed so far.

The United Nations has said $350 million is needed to provide assistance to the areas hit by flooding.
map: Wikipedia

Al Jazeera reports that in Sindh, one meter of rain fell in less than three weeks, with some places receiving half of their annual yearly rainfall in just two days.

The problem has been exacerbated because the Left Bank Overflow Drain or LBOD has not been working at its optimum. The drain, with a usual capacity to withstand up to 6,000 cusecs of water flow, and sends overflow to the Arabian Sea has been the victim of poor planning and design as well as excessive government corruption has had its capability reduced to around 4,000 cusecs.

Since Badin and many parts of Sind are prone to waterlogging, the land was not able to absorb the excessive rainfall and as such put a severe strain on the LOBD canal and caused major breaches in the poorly maintained embankments.
The other factor that complicated the situation was the drought-like conditions experienced in July; leading the government to flood its canals to help overcome the dry spell. The canals were in full flow when the unexpected wet spell struck - the worst in over 300 hundred years of recorded history
According to many locals the it is the worst flood they have seen in living memory. (Al Jazeera)


This comes as a dengue fever outbreak hits the state of Punjab, with more than 4,000 cases of the mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease being reported so far.

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Tags: Global Climate Change | Natural Disasters | Pakistan

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