Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Kill 168 in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Devastating floods in Pakistan and Afghanistan kill 168, damage homes and infrastructure, highlighting the urgent need for climate change adaptation measures.

Rizwan Shah
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Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Kill 168 in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Heavy Rains and Flash Floods Kill 168 in Pakistan and Afghanistan

On April 21, 2024, heavy rains and torrential floods struck Pakistan and Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of at least 168 people, injuring 145, damaging over 5,888 houses, and causing widespread infrastructure damage. The mountainous northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan has been particularly hard hit, with authorities issuing a flood warning and cautioning about severe casualties due to the melting of glaciers in several districts. The province has reported 59 deaths, including 33 children, and the destruction of 2,875 houses and 26 schools.

The southwest province of Baluchistan in Pakistan has also been heavily affected by the rainfall. Baluchistan has seen 590% above-average rainfall in 2022 and has declared a state of emergency due to the torrential floods. In the eastern province of Punjab, 21 lightning- and collapse-related fatalities have been reported in the past 4 days.

In neighboring Afghanistan, the death toll has risen to 70, with 2,000 homes, 3 mosques, and 4 schools damaged. Over 600 livestock have also perished in the floods. The western provinces of Afghanistan have witnessed severe floods in recent days, causing significant loss of life and property damage. The floods have severely impacted farmers, with the Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock stating that the destroyed lands belong to farmers who are in a weak economic condition and in need of assessment and assistance.

Why this matters: The heavy rains and torrential floods in Pakistan and Afghanistan highlight the devastating impact of climate change on the region. The unusual weather patterns and increased frequency of severe weather events emphasize the pressing need for climate change adaptation measures and disaster preparedness in vulnerable communities.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are experiencing heavier than normal rains in April due to climate change. Pakistan's monsoon season typically starts in June, and the country is still recovering from the devastating floods of 2022 that killed 1,739 people and caused $30 billion in damage. The National Disaster Management Authority in Pakistan has warned that the ongoing rains will continue until April 22nd, potentially flooding several areas that have already been affected and claimed lives in severe floods, and has predicted heavy rain from April 25th to 29th. The authority has urged the public to stay away from weak infrastructure and refrain from driving or walking in waterways. The Meteorological Department in Afghanistan has also warned that several provinces will experience more rain and sudden floods in the coming days.

Key Takeaways

  • Heavy rains and floods in Pakistan, Afghanistan killed 168, injured 145, damaged 5,888 houses.
  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan hit hard, with 59 deaths, 2,875 houses, 26 schools destroyed.
  • Baluchistan, Punjab in Pakistan also severely affected, with 590% above-average rainfall in 2022.
  • In Afghanistan, 70 deaths, 2,000 homes, 3 mosques, 4 schools damaged, 600 livestock perished.
  • Extreme weather events highlight need for climate change adaptation and disaster preparedness.