People build on a road bank to stop floodwater from breaching, in Jhuddo District, Sindh province, Pakistan, on Tuesday. Photo by Nadeem Khawar/EPA-EFE
Aug. 31 (BP) — NASA satellite images of Pakistan’s massive flooding reveal it has created a 62-mile-wide inland lake. The images are from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instruments aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites.
The images from NASA depict conditions along the Indus River, showing farmlands inundated with the record flood waters forming the large inland lake.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has announced a global campaign to raise $160 million in emergency money as Pakistan reels from an estimated $10 billion in damages.
According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 and Climate Watch, Pakistan is in the Top 10 most-affected nations for extreme weather events. Monsoon rains this year are the heaviest on record, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, 500% above average.
Speaking with CNN, Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said entire towns and villages have been devastated in Sindh province.
“There is barely any dry land that we can find. The scale of this tragedy … 33 million people, that’s more than the population of Sri Lanka or Australia,” Zardari said. “And while we understand that the new reality of climate change means more extreme weather, or monsoons, more extreme heat waves like we saw earlier this year, the scale of the current flood is of apocalyptic proportions. We certainly hope it’s not a new climate reality.”
According to the British government Pakistan has suffered an estimated $18 billion in natural disasters over the last decade.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the global community to support Pakistan in efforts to deal with the record-breaking flooding.
“We will certainly learn from our experience,” Sharif said. “but the global community should stand by us today, it’s a yawning gap between our requirements and what we are receiving till this point in time.”
BBC News reports that millions of people have been made destitute by the flood waters and thousands of homes have been destroyed.
Pakistani senator and climate minister Sherry Rehman describes the massive flooding as a serious climate catastrophe. Rehman said Pakistan is at ground zero on the front line of extreme weather events and the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking non-stop havoc throughout the country.