33 million displaced as melting glaciers and serious floods devastate Pakistan

More than 33 million people have been displaced as devastating monsoon rains and melting glaciers have caused extensive flooding across the county.

So far, 1,136 people have died, with over 15% of the population affected by the extreme weather which has destructed roads, mud homes, crops, and infrastructure.

Officials have turned to the UN and international community for support, as they believe the floods could be even deadlier than the floods in 2010 which killed 2,000 people.

people walking on street during daytime

Pakistan’s planning minister has told the Reuters news agency that early estimates show it could cost at least $10bn to deal with the damage.

‘I think it is going to be huge. So far, [a] very early, preliminary estimate is that it is big, it is higher than $10 billion, Pakistan’s planning minister Ahsan Iqbal told the Reuters news agency. ‘Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we’ve seen in the past.’

There has been news of some relief being delivered to the country, which was already facing dire economic circumstances, with the UN set to launch a $161m flash appeal to cover food and cash assistance. The British government has also said it will commit to providing £1.5m to aid relief efforts.

Pakistan has over 7,000 glaciers, more than any other region bar the Arctic and Antarctic, which are beginning to melt due to rising global temperatures.

These are pooling and creating glacial lakes, with 3,000 new lakes believed to have formed around the country this year, which are close to bursting.

Combined with historic levels of rainfall during the monsoon season this has created a perfect storm for unprecedented flooding.

Photo by Misbahul Aulia


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