Planning for Floods: Now or Never (PB - 44)

Planning for Floods: Now or Never (PB - 44)

Publication details

  • Friday | 05 Dec, 2014
  • Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Kashif Majeed Salik, Fahad Saeed
  • Policy Briefs/Papers
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Introduction

The year 2014 is the fifth consecutive year when Pakistan is undergoing extreme weather conditions. In July 2010, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Punjab provinces were affected by record rains causing  heavy floods, 1700 deaths and disruptive impact on over 20 million people (Houze et al. 2011; Webster et al. 2011). In 2010, the magnitude of catastrophe was so high that the number of affected people exceeded the combined total of people hit by the 2004 tsunami in Indian Ocean, the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan, and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In September 2011, a massive flood severely hit Sindh province, caused over 400 deaths, affected 8 million people, and inundated 1.7 million acres of arable land (Habib 2011). In 2012, Pakistan received unprecedented rainfall resulting in over 450 deaths and affecting more than 5 million people along with thousands of acres of arable land in KP, Southern Punjab and Upper Sindh (CNN 2012). Intense rainfall caused flooding yet again in August 2013, but this time in different pockets throughout the country, including KP, Karachi city, and central Punjab,  resulting in around 200 deaths, and affecting 1.5 million people. To this series of flooding, the year 2014 was no exception, when a heavy cloudburst occurred once again over Kashmir region resulting in huge devastation in Indian held Kashmir (IHK), Azad Kashmir as well as downstream areas of Pakistan. This time the death toll has risen to 500 people both in India and Pakistan besides the number of people affected by the floods was  again in millions (Singh et al. 2014).