Melting glaciers and global warming are reason for flash floods in Pakistan, veteran journalist says
The presence of the Pakistani army on the Siachen glacier creates a problem for other glaciers, which start to melt very quickly, said Hamid Pir, a senior Pakistani journalist and columnist at The Washington Postagainst the backdrop of catastrophic floods that devastated the country.
pir said CNBC-TV18 that in July he had written a column for the Job warning that climate change was a greater threat to Pakistan than terrorism. “I had written that the Indian and Pakistani armies are deployed on the Siachen glacier. Most of the glaciers on the Pakistani side…I don’t know about the Indian side…but the presence of the army on the glaciers of Siachen is creating problems for other glaciers. And I had warned that the glaciers were starting to melt very quickly,” Pir said, adding that this and global warming were the reasons for the ongoing floods.
He said that as a result, more than 30 lakes in northern Pakistan “exploded” because they were overflowing with meltwater, triggering the start of destruction. “The water then came into the Indus River and other rivers and the rain also started a month ago. That’s why more than half of Pakistan is under water. It’s a great loss for the Pakistani economy,” he said.
Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif declared a national emergency due to widespread flooding caused by incessant rains. The country’s climate minister Sherry Rehman said a third of the country is submerged under water and so far more than 1,000 people have lost their lives and more than 33 million have been affected by the floods . This represents 15% of the country’s population.
Terrifying visuals show flooded rivers and several submerged provinces underwater.
Pir, which covers flash floods in Pakistan, visited the affected areas last week. He started from the north and then moved on to Sindh, which he says is the worst affected area. “About 80% of the province is under water,” he said. He is now in southern Punjab, where he says two districts are completely destroyed. “Much of Balochistan province which borders Sindh and South Punjab is also affected. More than half of Pakistan is under water,” he said.
The WHO has launched a flash appeal for 160 million dollars. The aid would be used to help 5.2 million affected people with food, water, health protection and medical support. Countries like Pakistan contribute negligibly to global warming and yet face the disastrous impact of climate change.
First post: STI