Flood disaster in Pakistan in 2010

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The Indus in Pakistan, location of the cities

In July and August 2010 , there was from July 27 to the northwestern Pakistan as a result of unusually strong monsoon rains to flooding , in which up to 3 September 2010 officially 1,738 people were killed. 1,781,018 homes were damaged. The first affected was the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , which lies on the border with Afghanistan . The amount of water initially destroyed numerous newly built bridges and roads in the Swat catchment area and on the upper reaches of the Indus before affecting the entire course of the river as far as Sindh on the Indian Ocean. According to the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator , more than 14 million people were affected by the floods , with at least 6 to 7 million in immediate need of humanitarian aid; Thousands became environmental refugees .


Satellite images of the upper reaches of the Indus from August 1, 2009 (above) and from July 31, 2010 (below)

The floods were caused by heavy monsoon rains in the region, which are considered to be the strongest in more than eighty years. The Pakistan Meteorological Department announced that more than 200mm of precipitation had fallen in a number of locations in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab in 24 hours on July 29-30 . 274 mm of precipitation fell within one day in Peshawar , exceeding the previous record of 187 mm from April 2009.

According to OCHA , 36 Pakistani districts were at least partially flooded at the end of July and more than a million residents were directly affected by the effects. Mian Iftikhar Hussain , Minister of Information for the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in northwestern Pakistan, described the floods as “the worst disaster in our history” and lamented that “the infrastructure of this province was already destroyed by terrorism. What was left of it was removed by the floods ”. In some areas the water was over five meters high, so many residents stayed on the roofs of their houses until help arrived. On July 31, Dawn published preliminary reports that at least 45 bridges and 3,700 homes were destroyed by the floods. The Karakoram Highway , which connects Pakistan with China, was closed after a bridge on the highway was destroyed.

Floodplains until August 26, 2010

At the beginning of August, the focus of the floods moved from the northwestern border region with Afghanistan along the Indus south to the west of the Punjab province , where the harvest on at least 570,000 hectares of arable land was destroyed. and to the south of Sindh Province . The agricultural products damaged by the flood included cotton , sugar cane , rice , legumes , tobacco and animal feed . The monsoons and floods destroyed 280,000 hectares of cotton and 80,000 hectares each of sugar cane and rice, plus 500,000 tons of wheat and 120,000 hectares of cultivated land for animal feed. According to the Pakistan Cotton Ginners Association, the flood destroyed two million bales of cotton, increasing the futures of this asset in world markets.


According to the International Committee of the Red Cross , the flood has had a major impact on the living conditions of the civilian population exposed to the armed conflict in the border region with Afghanistan. Aside from the destruction of homes and infrastructure, water supplies have also been compromised, leaving the area's residents vulnerable to diseases caused by polluted water.

According to Aktion Deutschland Hilft , the humanitarian operation in the floodplains is classified as the highest level of “Category 3”. According to the UN, the disaster is even bigger than the 2010 Haiti earthquake or the December 26, 2004 tsunami .

Special reports from individual regions

  • On August 13, 2010, the water masses threatened the city of Jacobabad in the south. The authorities issued a flood warning on Friday, August 13, and ordered the 400,000 residents of the city on the northern border of Sindh province , north of Sukkur , to flee.
  • The authorities are trying to warn or evacuate the population in Jacobabad, Hyderabad , Thatta , Ghotki , Larkana . Saturday August 14, 2010
  • August 31, 2010: A spokesman for the authorities announced that the cities of Jati and Choohar Jamali in the south should be evacuated as a whole because of the threat of flooding. Many residents fled to nearby Thatta, which the authorities now regard as safe again. For fear of the floods of the Indus, the 300,000-inhabitant city was on the weekend of 28/29. August was completely evacuated.
  • For the regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , Baluchistan and Punjab it is the worst flood since 1929. Many houses were washed away, bridges and roads were badly damaged, some cattle drowned and the crops were largely destroyed.

Consequences of the flood

As a result of the ongoing flooding, the first cholera case was confirmed in the Swat Valley on August 13th .


US helicopter flying over a flood area

UN Emergency Aid Coordinator John Holmes provided UN emergency aid of 352 million euros on August 11, 2010. In addition, the European Union wants to provide emergency aid of 40 million euros. The numbers of the offers are probably no longer up-to-date, but have been increased across the board. The Pakistani Taliban organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is trying to use the flood for its own purposes. The radical Islamic association publicly opposed any aid from the Western world, especially from the United States, and offered the Pakistani government $ 20 million if it refrained from such Western aid.

The United States and the People's Republic of China, among others, have expressed their readiness to assist the victims. The German federal government is also sending at least 1 million euros in emergency aid.

In the face of the disaster, India offered its arch-rival $ 5 million in relief supplies. In a telephone conversation with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmud Qureshi , India's Foreign Minister SM Krishna expressed his solidarity and sympathy for the suffering of the Pakistani people. - India and Pakistan have waged war three times since their independence from Great Britain in 1947.

In comparison to the emergency aid after the earthquake disaster five years earlier, when the army and aid organizations worked hand in hand, this time the aid measures are rather uncoordinated, report eyewitnesses on site. The people in the areas affected by the flood are frustrated by the slow and lack of help, because aid supplies often have not yet reached their destination due to destroyed roads and bridges, says a nurse from the German Mission Community. Another problem is the enormous extent of the disaster, almost the entire country is affected. “There are fewer aid organizations in the country than there were a few years ago - some have withdrawn because the security situation has worsened dramatically in recent years,” she wrote. The Taliban did not want to allow foreign aid from "infidels". “Unfortunately, the hardest hit again were the people who had already lost everything in the earthquake. At that time, many moved from the mountains into the valleys and built new houses near rivers or streams. Now they have lost everything again. Some stayed with relatives after the flood, but they need a roof over their heads again. In addition to the catastrophe, their cows, goats and sheep drowned and food became incredibly expensive (increases of up to 500 percent). "

Animals and agriculture are the livelihoods of many people in Pakistan. That is why animal welfare organizations are active in the disaster area in addition to humanitarian organizations. A WSPA- supported veterinary team is on site from Lahore University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine to provide the animals with food, safe drinking water and medical treatment, as these animals are a livelihood for people in the aftermath of the disaster.

Donations and calls for donations

Various charities and organizations called for donations. Their accounts have been published by the media.

The former president and military ruler Pervez Musharraf also expressed criticism of the handling of donations in Pakistan.


Global weather conditions

Omegalage about Russia as well as Pakistan and Central Europe

The forest and peat fires in Russia , the flood disaster in Pakistan and the floods in the border triangle of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic are causally linked to one another via a weather situation called omegalage . A high pressure area over Russia, which has been stable for weeks, attracts warm air from the south. In the low pressure areas to the west and east of it, there are stable bad weather conditions with unusually high levels of precipitation. The German Weather Service points out that the La Niña weather phenomenon intensifies the regular monsoons . Not only is the amount of rain ten times as strong as usual, the temperature has also increased significantly this year, which is leading to increased melting of the glaciers .

Failures in environmental protection

As with most flooding phenomena, the flood in Pakistan has regional causes that exacerbated the problem. In previous years, many people moved with their cattle to the areas that were now hit by the flood. For pasture, building and fuel materials, forests have been cut down and pastures grazed, which means that the soil can absorb much less water. Rivers have been blocked or squeezed into their beds by straightening, thus robbing them of their floodplain , cities are being built haphazardly and are therefore endangered.

Due to the great destruction of the infrastructure, the country was set back decades in its development.

Previous severe floods

  • Compare 2007: Up to one million people in the Baluchistan region in southwestern Pakistan were affected by the severe storms at the time.
  • November 12, 1970: A cyclone in what was then East Pakistan (Bhola cyclone) claimed 300,000 to 500,000 lives. It was the worst hurricane ever recorded and one of the most momentous natural disasters in recent history. There were wind speeds of up to 230 km / h and meter high tidal waves. Today the area belongs to the subsequently created state of Bangladesh .

Individual evidence

  1. dts news agency: Officially 1,738 fatalities in floods in Pakistan , from September 4, 2010, accessed on September 4, 2010
  2. Website of the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) ( Memento of August 18, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Updated (updated): 1400 Hrs, August 9, 2010 (deaths: 956 - Displaced: 880,624 of 25 million. Inhabitants; more overviews there)
    On August 17th the local government office reports from there: 1015 fatalities.
  3. engl. via the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs , Aug 11, 2010, NY Times
  4. ^ Flooding kills hundreds in Pakistan and Afghanistan (English) , BBC . July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  5. Jeff Masters: Wunder Blog: Weather Underground ( English ) Wunderground.com. August 10, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  6. Rainfall Statement July-2010 ( English ) Pakistan Meteorological Department. July 2010. Archived from the original on August 20, 2010. Retrieved on August 30, 2010.
  7. Peshawar Climate Data: Mean 1961–2009 ( English ) Pakistan Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2010.
  8. UN starts relief works in flood hit provinces (English) , Dawn (daily newspaper) . July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  9. UN voices Pakistan flood fears as death toll soars (English) , British Broadcasting Corporation . July 31, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  10. a b Ismail Khan: 400 Killed in Flooding in Pakistan, Officials Say (English) , The New York Times . July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  11. ^ Griff Witte, Khan, Haq Nawaz: Government ramps up relief efforts in flooded northwest Pakistan ( English ) The Washington Post . July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
  12. Over 800 dead due to flooding: Mian Iftikhar (English) , Dawn. July 31, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010. 
  13. Christopher Bodeen: Asia flooding plunges millions into misery (English) . August 8, 2010. Archived from the original on August 31, 2010. Retrieved on August 31, 2010. 
  14. Pakistan floods cause 'huge losses' to crops (English) , BBC. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  15. ^ Sugar, Wheat, Rice Crops Worth $ 2.9 Billion Ruined by Pakistan's Floods ( English ) Bloomberg . August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  16. Pakistan Floods Destroy 2 Million Bales of Cotton, Group Says ( English ) Bloomberg. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  17. India Cotton Demand to Rise After Pakistan Floods, FCStone Says ( English ) Bloomberg. August 12, 2010. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  18. Pakistan: preventive health measures in flood-affected ( English ) In: ICRC News Release . International Committee of the Red Cross . August 4, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2010.
  19. a b World Vision : World Vision Germany asks for donations for flood victims in Pakistan. Aktion Deutschland Hilft , August 3, 2010, archived from the original on August 17, 2010 ; Retrieved August 17, 2010 .
  20. Yuriko Wahl: Uncertainty plays a major role in: Landeszeitung für die Lüneburger Heide, August 17, 2010, p. 16.
  21. Hundreds of thousands in Pakistan asked to flee. More and more cities are threatened by floods - epidemics are rampant. NZZ Online from August 13, 2010, 3:19 pm, (according to sda / dpa / Reuters)
  22. Cholera confirmed. AP, August 14, 2010, 11:56 am IST (via ToI)
  23. Jati and Choohar Jamali. at FR from Aug. 31, 2010
  24. Maltese : First cholera case confirmed in Swat. Aktion Deutschland Hilft , August 13, 2010, archived from the original on August 17, 2010 ; Retrieved August 17, 2010 .
  25. Appeal for donations for flood victims - UN: Pakistan needs 352 million euros immediately (German) , tagesschau.de . August 11, 2010. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. 
  26. Die Zeit: Pakistan's Taliban zealous for the flood victims. Retrieved August 27, 2010 .
  27. India offers help (sda / afp) NZZ from August 15
  28. a b c The flood relief in Pakistan - live report by a nurse on site. Retrieved August 25, 2010 .
  29. Animals in need disaster relief blog. Retrieved September 3, 2010 .
  30. ^ Lahore, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences. Retrieved September 3, 2010 .
  31. ^ WSPA Disaster Relief for Pakistan. Retrieved September 3, 2010 .
  32. E.g. a list on ARD: Donation accounts for the victims of the flood disaster in Pakistan ( Memento from August 6, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  33. Think of Germany first? in: Badische Zeitung of August 19, 2010, p. 22.
  34. (Background - repetition from August 13th ) Donations for Pakistan dpa basic service from August 16, 2010, miscellaneous, page 0276
  35. "I have never seen floods like this" Pakistan's ex-President Pervez Musharraf in an interview. In the NZZ on August 22, 2010, 12:57:06 p.m.
  36. Fires and floods: Extreme weather conditions are interrelated , SF Tagesschau on August 8, 2010
  37. Flood catastrophe in Pakistan from a climatological point of view: Largest amounts of rain in Peshawar for 150 years , press release of the German Weather Service from August 12, 2010
  38. a b Pakistan: Failure to protect the environment - the extent of the crisis cannot only be explained by climate changes , Deutschlandfunk : Umwelt und Konsumenten, August 18, 2010
  39. ^ Floods in southern Pakistan. Archived from the original on November 11, 2010 ; Retrieved August 10, 2010 .

Web links

Commons : Flood Disaster 2010 Pakistan  - Pictures, Videos and Audio Files Collection