The ongoing spell of rain has wreaked havoc and caused flash floods across Balochistan, Sindh, southern Punjab, and some parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The floods killed over 830 people, affecting more than 3 million directly or indirectly.

Flood map of Pakistan 2022
Flood extent map of Pakistan derived from Sentinel 1 SAR imagery.

Floods have also damaged nearly 413,226 homes across Pakistan, washing away roads and damaging bridges. More than 40 people have died in Karachi due to heavy rains since July, and Hundreds of trucks and passenger buses have been stuck on Dera Murad Jamali national highway.

More rains are expected during the week. The intense weather system and monsoon currents are penetrating the southern and upper parts of the country. The Pakistan Meteorological Department alerted all concerned authorities to take necessary precautionary measures during the forecast period.

This year, Pakistan faced hefty rains. According to NDMA data till August 17, this year’s average rainfall was 267mm, up from the 30-year average of 119mm and a 124 percent increase. The 30-year average rainfall in Balochistan was only 55mm, which increased substantially by 289 percent to 200mm this year. The 30-year average rainfall in Sindh province was 107mm, but it reached 375mm this year.

Every region affected by the flooding is experiencing food scarcity, and some are also cut off from the rest of the province since more than 700 kilometers of highways were washed away. The lack of an early warning system, flood plain management, technical protection, and flood prevention have worsened the situation. The rescue teams, along with Pakistan Army troops and Al Khidmat Foundation, are busy in rescue and relief operations in flood-hit areas of Sindh, Baluchistan, Sindh, KP, and Punjab.

Update: 26/08/2022

The flood is now raging across the Kohistan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Five brothers stranded yesterday for four hours were eventually swept away by gushing water in Dobair valley while no rescue teams were there for help. Extreme floods continue this morning in Swat’s Malakand district, damaging properties, including hotels and touristic places along the river. The Karakoram highway section in Kohistan connecting southern Pakistan with the northern part and china is swept away by a landslide and debris flow. The lower areas of Peshawar, Charsadda, and Nowshehra are on high alert as the flood water will approach the basin in the coming hours. There is a high alert situation in Muzaffarabad, Kashmir.

Pakistan is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change. This wettest season in Pakistan’s three decades can be indirectly attributed to global warming. The direct relation of this extreme rainfall event is uncertain and debatable among the scientific community. Still, due to climate change, the climatic extremes are becoming more frequent and intense.

For online donations to flood-affected people, visit the Al Khidmat Foundation website.