CNN — More than one third of Pakistan is underwater, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA), as deadly floodwaters threaten to create secondary disasters.
Food is in short supply after water covered millions of acres of crops and wiped out hundreds of thousands of livestock. Meanwhile, aid agencies have warned of an uptick in infectious diseases, leaving millions vulnerable to illness caused by what the United Nations has called a “monsoon on steroids.”
More than 1,100 people have died from the floods since mid-June, nearly 400 of them children, while millions have been displaced, according to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
Pakistan’s monsoon season usually brings heavy downpours, but this year’s has been the wettest since records began in 1961, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department
Torrential monsoon rainfall – 10 times heavier than usual – has caused the Indus River to overflow, effectively creating a long lake, tens of kilometers wide, according to images from the ESA on August 30.
In the southern Sindh and Balochistan provinces, rainfall has been 500% above average as of August 30, according to the NDMA, engulfing entire villages and farmland, razing buildings and wiping out crops.
Pakistan is responsible for less than 1% of the world’s planet-warming gases, European Union data shows, yet it is the eighth most vulnerable nation to the climate crisis, according to the Global Climate Risk Index.
And it’s paying a hefty price – the South Asian country faced dramatic climate conditions this year, from record heat waves to destructive floods – as the climate crisis exacerbates extreme weather events.
Pakistan floods: What you need to know | CNNPakistan floods: What you need to know | CNN