Video Highlights Pakistan Flood Impacts

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Effects from Flood's Destruction

As stated by Pakistan's U.S. Ambassador -- Husain Haqqani

  • 21 million affected, including 6 million children, 800,000 pregnant women and 2,000 lives lost. The impacted 21 million is more people affected than from the tsunami, 2005 Pakistan earthquake and Haiti earthquake combined.
  • 70% of the infrastructure residing in the flooded regions was damaged or destroyed
  • 80 years of human construction activity wiped out
  • 2 million homes and 8,000 schools damaged or destroyed
  • Over 20% of Pakistan was under water during peak flooding—an area the size of Italy
  • 40% of arable land was inundated, causing the loss of this year’s crop
  • $43 billion loss—estimated cost for relief and rehabilitation 

While no single weather event can be attributed to climate change, Pakistan’s recent colossal flooding is consistent with the projected impacts of climate change for the region.  The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) most recent report (4th assessment), states that the region including Pakistan will likely experience an “enhanced hydrological cycle…Increased rainfall intensity, particularly during the summer monsoon, could increase flood-prone areas.”

Ambasador Haqqani stated in the briefing for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on  23 Sept. 2010 that Pakistan “is getting hotter. The summers are lengthening and winters shrinking and becoming milder. Monsoons, the main source of water in our rivers, are becoming totally unpredictable. For example, this year, some parts of our Northwest Punjab (inaudible) province received ten years of rainfall in one week.” 

While the debate about climate change and global warming continues in the world, we in Pakistan are living through this change. We think the present rains and the resulting floods in Pakistan are linked to changing climate patterns in our region, which have been observed by scientists.” – Pakistan’s U.S. Ambassador, Husain Haqqani

 

According to Ambassador Haqqani, the United States was the first outside country to respond to the flood and is the single largest flood aid donor. America is also providing Marines for rescue and relief efforts. Pakistan’s wellbeing is a crucial strategic interest of the U.S. as it’s an important ally in military operations against Al Qaeda. 

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