Pakistani rain: Karachi beaten by torrential rain as climate crisis makes weather more unpredictable

Pakistani rain: Karachi beaten by torrential rain as climate crisis makes weather more unpredictable
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More than 60 millimeters (2.3 inches) of rain fell on Karachi on Sunday night, the equivalent of a month’s worth of precipitation in just a few hours.

Pakistan has been battling heavy monsoons for months each summer, but in recent years, experts say climate change is accelerating current weather patterns.

On Sunday, Pakistan’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, said: flash flood warnings For residents of more than 14 cities and counties.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority, more than 300 people have died due to heavy rains across Pakistan since the start of the monsoon season last month.

In Karachi, the capital of Sindh state and home to nearly 16 million, entire neighborhoods were partially submerged. The photos show people walking up to their knees in muddy flood waters in vehicles stranded by the flood.

Infrastructure including bridges, highways and roads was damaged, disrupting traffic and disrupting the lives of millions across the city. Many stockpiled fuel for their generators in case of a power outage.

Afia Salam, a climate change advocate in Karachi, said: “Climate change is a threat. We are a coastal city. This is happening very fast and we will bear the brunt of it.” “People need to see the situation beyond individual events like a bridge falling or a road flooding.”

People cross a flooded street after heavy rain on July 21, 2022 in Lahore, Pakistan.

The climate crisis and weak infrastructure

Pakistan usually experiences heavy rains from July to September, but experts say the rains are only increasing in both frequency and intensity.

“The pace of these events is accelerating and our response is not keeping up,” Salam said. “We react to individual events. Strategies need to be laid out.”

And the poorest and most vulnerable is at the forefront of the crisis.
The country’s financial capital, Karachi, has luxury hotels, shopping malls, and luxury gated communities. But inequalities in wealth and development persist, with an estimated 50% of residents “forced to live in informal settlements”. according to this to the World Bank.

According to the World Bank, “Karachi’s infrastructure is highly vulnerable to climate-related disasters”.

Experts say the crisis is exacerbated by poor flood management and ineffective disaster response.

Other provinces, including Balochistan in the southwest, have also received heavy rainfall in recent days. At least 87 people have died in the state due to “heavy rainfall, flooding and infrastructure collapse” this month alone, according to a report from the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA).

Two people, a woman and a child, died when a roof collapsed in the state’s Jaffarabad district on Sunday, according to PDMA chief executive Naseer Nasar.

According to the PDMA report, at least eight dams in Balochistan were breached while nine bridges were damaged. More than 700 animals perished due to the flood.

earlier than this month, torrential rain caused widespread flooding in Karachi. According to Sindh prime minister Murad Ali Shah, most of the underpasses were flooded and there was nowhere to pump the water.

Karachi’s main streets, where financial institutions and bank headquarters are located, including Pakistan’s central bank, were flooded, and rescue services were using boats to reach stranded people.

Workers carry products while walking on a flooded road after heavy rain on Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Lahore, Pakistan.

Extreme weather affects millions

Extreme weather events in South Asia are becoming more frequent due to climate change, with temperatures in parts of India and Pakistan reaching record highs during a heatwave in April and May.

AND deadly cholera epidemic As the country grapples with a water crisis exacerbated by scorching temperatures, thousands of people in central Pakistan were infected in May in connection with contaminated drinking water.
Pakistan hit by deadly cholera epidemic as heatwave engulfs South Asia

Residents of Pir Koh, a remote mountainous town in Balochistan province, did not have access to clean drinking water. Local resident Hassan Bugti said the lack of rain has caused nearby ponds to dry up, and their only source of water is a pipeline that “corrodes and pollutes the water supply.”

A 2022 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said they have moderate confidence that heat waves and moisture stress will become “more intense and frequent” and that “annual and summer monsoon precipitation will increase”.

India and Pakistan are among the countries expected to be worst affected by the climate crisis, according to the IPCC.

Asim Khan from CNN contributed to the news.

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