Posts Tagged ‘ Natural Disasters – News Topic ’

The Scope of Pakistan’s Floods: By the Numbers

By David Knowles for AOL News

Dubbed Pakistan’s “flood of the century,” heavy monsoon rains have washed out upward of one-fourth of the area of the country. The scope of the ongoing devastation is on a scale that is difficult to comprehend, especially to those far away and unfamiliar with the territory. Still it is alarming to consider the estimate given by concerned officials on Wednesday — that up to one-fifth of the entire landmass is now underwater.

The flooding has largely been located in the center of the country and is being caused by overflow from the Indus and Chenab rivers. Surge Desk has been rounding up the figures from the tragedy and has the following context.

Some 150,000 square kilometers, or approximately 93,000 square miles, have been affected by the rising waters, Voice of America reported. That’s a little smaller than the size of the state of Michigan.

So far, at least 1,600 have been killed in the floods.

Agricultural losses
The floods have so far destroyed 2 million bales of cotton, BusinessWeek reported, nearly one-seventh of the country’s yearly target. In addition, 500,000 tons of wheat have been ruined, The New York Times said.

U.S. military response
One thousand U.S. Marines and 24 military helicopters have been deployed to Pakistan to help with relief efforts, The Associated Press reported.

Pakistanis displaced

According to the United Nations, 7 million citizens of Pakistan have been left homeless because of the floodwaters. Furthermore, the U.N. estimates that 14 million Pakistanis, roughly 8 percent of the country’s population, have been adversely affected by the floods. According to UNICEF, 6 million of those are children. All told, approximately 4,700 villages have been wiped out, Voice of America news reported.

Effect on war with the Taliban
Some 60,000 Pakistani troops that had recently been fighting the Taliban have now been put on flood assistance, The Telegraph reports.

Foreign aid
The United Nations is seeking foreign contributions of $460 million to tend to immediate needs, such as food, water and temporary shelters. The United States has pledged $71 million in aid, the biggest amount offered by any country so far, The New York Times reports.

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