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Flooding in Pakistan
August 9, 2010 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Pakistan is suffering the worst flooding for over 80 years. (NYTimes) (Guardian) At least 1600 people are dead, and approximately 15 million are affected by this tragedy. Millions of acres have been swamped by the floods. The United Nations has rated the floods as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history. (Wikipedia) (The Big Picture)
posted by seanyboy (49 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
A map of the Pakistan's affected zones.

Pakistan, China, Poland/Germany, before that Nashville... I'm sure I'm leaving out some other incidents this year... Is this that "more extreme weather" Al Gore threatened us with if we didn't pay him protection money?
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


The floods were caused by monsoon rains, which were forecast to continue into early August and were described as the worst in this area in the last 80 years.[12] The Pakistan Meteorological Department said that 300 mm (12 inches) of rain fell over a 36-hour period and more was expected. So far as many as 500,000 or more people have been displaced from their homes.[12] Manuel Bessler, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stated that 36 districts were involved, and 550,000 people were affected,[13] although later reports increased the number to as high as a million affected.[8] The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said "the infrastructure of this province was already destroyed by terrorism. Whatever was left was finished off by these floods."[14] He also called the floods "the worst calamity in our history."[9] Four million Pakistanis were left with food shortages.[6]

- Record rains (climate change)
- Massive displacement (4M people affected)
- Massive disruption places a strain on an already struggling state

Whenever some moron pundit explains that we'll get used to a warming, changing climate, just be sure to mention Pakistan.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The Big Picture is, as usual, so powerful. Number 17 looks like some kind of renaissance painting.
posted by malphigian at 11:41 AM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Great, just more of what this poor country needed.

I had a Pakistani friend in college and work with Pakistani college students today -- wish I was plastic man and could stretch myself over the country as a giant umbrella.
posted by angrycat at 11:45 AM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wait, number fifteen, why did that guy tie his chicken to his neck? Is that representative of food shortage?
posted by angrycat at 11:49 AM on August 9, 2010


I imagine the chicken is worth quite a bit and the man didn't want it to drown or get separated.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:52 AM on August 9, 2010


> Wait, number fifteen, why did that guy tie his chicken to his neck? Is that representative of food shortage?

It would seem that he didn't want it to drown so he could eat it or its eggs later.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:52 AM on August 9, 2010


Wait, number fifteen, why did that guy tie his chicken to his neck? Is that representative of food shortage?

These people have nothing, and they cannot realistically expect any kind of support from their government.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2010


And the Pakistani government's lack of effective response is further undermining the country's effort to maintain a democratic political structure.
posted by bearwife at 12:00 PM on August 9, 2010


Why is Pakistan’s president junketing while his people drown? Zadari is facing accusations that he is using a meeting with David Cameron as a smokescreen for an attempt to shore up his political dynasty.
posted by adamvasco at 12:03 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why is Pakistan’s president junketing while his people drown?

There are precedents.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:05 PM on August 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


The Big Picture is, as usual, so powerful. Number 17 looks like some kind of renaissance painting.
posted by malphigian at 11:41 AM on August 9 [+] [!]


We also have the eventual winner of "Baddest Beard on the Planet" contest. I bet that guy knows six ways to kill you silently with a teaspoon.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:06 PM on August 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Because Pakistans goverment is kind of weak and useless, and would sooner leave the disaster relief to fundamentalist extremists, because there could be no possible bad repercussions to having a populace that hates you and loves fundamentalist extremists, right?
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM on August 9, 2010


Speaking of climate change:

Russian fires prompt Kremlin to abruptly embrace climate change
Meanwhile, an average of 700 people are dying per day in Moscow – a doubling of the average rate, which health officials blamed on the smog.
"Our country has not experienced such a heat wave in the last 50 or even 100 years," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said last week in a speech published in English on the Kremlin's website. "We need to learn our lessons from what has happened, and from the unprecedented heat wave that we have faced this summer
(More on the fires here).


Massive Arctic ice island drifting toward shipping lanes
The biggest Arctic “ice island” to form in nearly 50 years — a 250-square-kilometre behemoth described as four times the size of Manhattan — has been discovered after a Canadian scientist scanning satellite images of northwest Greenland spotted a giant break in the famed Petermann Glacier.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 12:11 PM on August 9, 2010


Those pictures really are incredible.
posted by Artw at 12:13 PM on August 9, 2010


Pat Robertson in 3, 2, 1....
posted by punkfloyd at 12:28 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goddamn.
.

I'm wondering where the women are.
posted by mondaygreens at 12:33 PM on August 9, 2010


I'm wondering where the women are.

There were plenty of women in that photo set. They weren't crowding in with the men to get aid off of a truck, though.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:16 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


U.N.-listed 'terror front' group leads flood relief in Pakistan
posted by homunculus at 1:48 PM on August 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think the Moscow fire story merits it's own fpp. The flooding in Pakistan is too terrible in its own right to be lumped together with the situation in Moscow (which is also terrible in its own right). But don't mean to derail.

On topic, these images are gut-wrenching.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:25 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I say next is said as someone who actually does believe in global climate change: It may be that the Asian floods, and the Russian fires/heat-wave have some connection to climate change, but I would be a bit wary of pointing to these things as being definitively climate change related. Just as the deniers, erroneously, tried to use "snowpocalypse" last year, or any cold winter as an attempt to disprove climate change ("global warming"), correspondingly I don't think we should point to these dramatic events as proof of existence. As mentioned, Pakistan has had pretty disastrous monsoons in the past, and there have been other heat waves in Asia.

the real proof of climate change is change over time, not a particularly bad year weather wise, but consecutive years of change. Indeed, the proof of climate change is less dramatic, but much more concrete.
posted by edgeways at 3:08 PM on August 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, you want to be warry of someone saying they now believe in climate change because of a single instance where it's too hot/cold/dry/wet, as they're liable to change their mind as soon as it's cold/hot/wet/dry.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing notices pop-up about relief efforts.

Does anyone have any advice/suggestions/thoughts/experience on where to donate money and resources such that they will actually get to the people who are being affected, and not just corrupt government bodies/relief agencies with ridiculously high overhead/terrorist groups (those assisting with relief efforts notwithstanding)?
posted by dry white toast at 3:50 PM on August 9, 2010


> Does anyone have any advice/suggestions/thoughts/experience on where to donate money and resources such that they will actually get to the people who are being affected, and not just corrupt government bodies/relief agencies with ridiculously high overhead/terrorist groups (those assisting with relief efforts notwithstanding)?

Islamic Relief already had people in the affected areas and is consistently a very well rated charity
posted by Burhanistan at 4:03 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I tend to use DEC or Oxfam, but I'm not sure if they're both UK companies. And apart from gut feeling, I can't objectively vouch for where the money goes.
posted by seanyboy at 4:06 PM on August 9, 2010


Virgin Atlantic airlines didn't know there was any flooding.
posted by Evilspork at 4:41 PM on August 9, 2010


Although I see the immense value of documenting what people face in disasters, I can't help feeling like a bit of a voyeur when I see pictures of people suffering, especially when I'm safely on the other side of the world.
posted by no mind at 10:09 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


> I can't help feeling like a bit of a voyeur when I see pictures of people suffering, especially when I'm safely on the other side of the world.

The pictures have their potential realized when you're moved to take the time to donate some money to assist.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:32 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you're in the UK - or not - you can donate to the DEC. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) is a non-partisan umbrella organisation for 13 major charities.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:35 AM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Islamist charities rush flood aid, for Pakistanis hit by the worst flooding in memory. Total failure of the Pakistani elites.
It should be remembered that the Islamic charities provided the majority of the relief in Pakistan after the earthquake 5 years ago. Pakistan Vies With Islamists to Aid Flood Victims.
posted by adamvasco at 4:47 AM on August 10, 2010


Yeah, you want to be warry of someone saying they now believe in climate change because of a single instance where it's too hot/cold/dry/wet, as they're liable to change their mind as soon as it's cold/hot/wet/dry.

But here's the thing. All these weather events are driven by climate. The "snowpocolypse" was due to increased moisture in the air, caused by warming over the Pacific, sending waves of wet over the USA. The USA was colder than average because a warm air mass over the Arctic pushed the cold air south. This past winter, the coldest place on the planet, in terms of deviation from the norm, was central and eastern USA - just about everywhere else it was warmer.
posted by stbalbach at 9:52 AM on August 10, 2010


UN says Pakistan floods worse than 2004 tsunami
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on August 10, 2010


The 2004 tsunami had 220,000 dead, the Pakistan floods around 2,000. Of course it's still playing out and if an epidemic strikes.. and the 2005 earthquake wasn't long ago.
posted by stbalbach at 9:07 PM on August 10, 2010


While the flood looms large Pakistan's militancy problem has not gone away, nor has its need for deep structural and political reform, especially in the areas where militant groups are strongest.
posted by adamvasco at 4:29 AM on August 11, 2010


Soaring food prices hit Pakistan
posted by adamvasco at 12:15 PM on August 11, 2010


> The 2004 tsunami had 220,000 dead, the Pakistan floods around 2,000.

I think they're saying that it's worse because something like 14 million people are now in a world of hurt.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:17 PM on August 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Military Official Says U.S. Can’t Send More Helicopters To Pakistani Flooding Disaster Due To Afghan War
posted by homunculus at 6:12 PM on August 11, 2010


Obama admin triples the number of helicopters it is sending for Pakistan flood relief.
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on August 12, 2010


6 Million Pakistanis need Immediate Aid as 1/3 of Country is Submerged
posted by homunculus at 10:44 AM on August 12, 2010


500,000 evacuated from Jacobabad as Floodwaters head toward Sindh.
Pakistan's floods have not just devastated the lives of millions of people, they now present an unparalleled national security challenge for the country.
Nearly one and a half million acres of farm land has been affected, to the tune of $1 billion in losses.
posted by adamvasco at 12:15 AM on August 14, 2010


Should anyone be interested in the names of specific individuals who are working towards flood relief, I can provide contact info for people whose integrity I can personally vouch for. Please memail if you want that info.
posted by bardophile at 11:07 AM on August 14, 2010


Donor Fatigue? Massive Pakistan Flood Attracting Little In Way of Relief Efforts
posted by homunculus at 12:59 PM on August 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pakistan floods: Maps and graphics
posted by adamvasco at 3:09 AM on August 18, 2010


Stop talking about the mosque; start doing something to help Pakistan

The flood in Pakistan and U.S. strategy
posted by homunculus at 2:39 PM on August 18, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sindh Cities inundated as Flooding continues;
Fears of advances by al-Qaeda

posted by homunculus at 1:19 PM on August 22, 2010


Pakistan floods: 'Desperate for doctors'‎
Eyewitnesses in three areas affected by the floods in Pakistan describe the lack of food, water and medical help that is fuelling fears of a growing public health disaster in the country.
posted by adamvasco at 3:26 AM on August 24, 2010


What Pakistanis are doing.
posted by bardophile at 9:42 PM on August 27, 2010


Another City Submerged as Floods advance in Sindh

Salt Water, Slow Aid threaten Sindhis Displaced in Pakistan
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on August 30, 2010


Behind the photograph: the human face of Pakistan's deadly flood. Mother of the child in image that went around the world tells of her family's struggle
posted by homunculus at 8:52 AM on September 6, 2010


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