Videos and photos show devastation in Pakistan after floods kill 900 – The Washington Post

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Asia
By Shaiq Hussain, Haq Nawaz Khan and Susannah George | Aug 26, 2022
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Months of heavy rains have killed more than 900 people and affected more than 30 million, according to the Pakistani government.
Newsflare via AP
The country is facing “unprecedented damage and devastation,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in a statement Friday.
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Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, on Aug. 26.
Saood Rehman/Shutterstock
Saood Rehman/Shutterstock
Sindh province, Pakistan, on Aug. 26.
Asif HASSAN / AFP via Getty Images
Asif HASSAN / AFP via Getty Images
A man in a makeshift shelter with his livestock in Sindh province, Pakistan, on Aug. 25.
Asif Hassan/AFP
Asif Hassan/AFP
Sharif’s government declared a national emergency Thursday night, deploying the country’s military to inundated areas and establishing an emergency response team in Islamabad.
Roads and bridges were swept away by the flooding, and families walked through knee-deep water to flee their villages for dry land.
Asif Hassan/AFP
Pakistan’s northern areas have been among the hardest hit. In the remote mountainous city of Swat, thousands are believed to be trapped. The Pakistani military has begun evacuating people from the area by helicopter.
Asif Hassan/AFP
“Our priority is to rescue the people and provide them with relief,” including temporary housing, food and other basic supplies, said Taimoor Khan, an official with the disaster management authority in the northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa district where Swat is located.
Khan said it was unclear exactly how many people need emergency assistance. “We have not completed our damage assessments yet,” he said.
Asif Hassan/AFP
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Sungin Khan via Storyful
Jamshoro, Pakistan, on Aug. 26.
Yasir Rajput/Reuters
Yasir Rajput/Reuters
The situation is similarly dire in parts of the south, especially in Sindh province, where authorities have requested 1 million tents.
Hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed across the country, and 184,00 people are in displacement camps, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Yasir Rajput/Reuters
Before traveling to flood-affected areas Friday, Sharif called on “friendly countries, donors and the international financial institutions for their continued cooperation at this difficult time.”
Yasir Rajput/Reuters
The disaster is expected to increase pressure on the government as it battles an economic crisis and is engaged in a political power struggle with the previous prime minister, Imran Khan.
The former prime minister, who was recently charged under the country’s anti-terrorism law with threatening current government officials, also visited flooded areas. In a tweet, Khan said he traveled there to discuss how to improve the “speed of the assistance,” including measures to prevent the spread of disease.
Yasir Rajput/Reuters
Baluchistan province, Pakistan, on Aug. 25.
Zahid Hussain/ AP
Zahid Hussain/ AP
Hyderabad, Pakistan, on Aug. 24.
Pervez Masih/ AP
Pervez Masih/ AP
A displaced family shelters under a plastic sheet in Baluchistan province, Aug. 24.
Zahid Hussain/ AP
Zahid Hussain/ AP
Pakistan is accustomed to summer flooding, but this year’s monsoon season has been unlike any in recent memory.
The term “monsoon” doesn’t necessarily mean a downpour — instead it just describes a seasonal wind shift. During the summer months, air over the higher terrain of Tibet and, to a lesser extent, Afghanistan and Tajikistan heats up and rises. That “thermal low,” or resultant low pressure system, inhales moist flow off the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.
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It takes a while for the monsoon to fully work north into Pakistan each summer. It usually doesn’t make it there until late July into early August. This year has featured a robust monsoon with at least eight rounds of widespread downpours, reportedly twice what’s typical.
Zahid Hussain/ AP
The flooding is the worst to hit Pakistan in more than a decade. In 2010, floodwaters killed hundreds of people and left millions homeless. Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said current floods could be even more destructive.
“Pakistan was already facing the disastrous consequences of climate change, and now the most devastating monsoon rains in a decade are causing incessant destruction across the country,” Rehman said at a news conference Thursday.
Zahid Hussain/ AP
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Hyderabad, Pakistan, on Aug. 25.
Nadeem Khawar/ Shutterstock
Nadeem Khawar/ Shutterstock
Children shelter from the rain near their collapsed mud house in Balochistan province on Aug. 25.
Fida Hussain/ AFP via Getty Images
Fida Hussain/ AFP via Getty Images
Stranded people wade through waters in Punjab province on Aug. 25.
Shahid Saeed Mirza/ AFP via Getty Images
Shahid Saeed Mirza/ AFP via Getty Images
Khan reported from Peshawar, Pakistan, and George from Kabul. Matthew Cappucci in D.C. contributed to this report.
Shahid Saeed Mirza/ AFP via Getty Images
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Editing by Jesse Mesner-Hage, Reem Akkad. Photo editing by Morgan Coates. Video editing by Alexa Julian Ard.

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