This post will be updated as more information becomes available. Check back on this page later to learn more about this developing story.
This past week, severe storms have laid waste to 13 provinces in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. As a result, flash floods were seen across the northern part of Afghanistan and areas in Pakistan, including Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi. The flash floods caused landslides in numerous regions, and the Afghan Meteorological Department has stated that the floods were a result of climate change.
The Meteorological Department alerted local officials of possible flood and severe rain danger as early as Tuesday, but people in the affected regions have said that they were unaware of the danger.
South Asia has seen record rainfall levels this year, with massive floods in parts of Bangladesh and India. The rain continued between Wednesday and Friday, adding to the flash flood risk in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
What are the impacts of these floods?
As of Sunday, August 30th, over 160 have been declared dead in Afghanistan as a result of the extreme flash floods that rocked the country this week. Parwan, a province just north of Afghanistan’s capital, recorded more than 115 deaths and over 120 injured. Rescue teams continue to search for missing people as the death and injury toll continues to rise.
The floods first hit Parwan early on Wednesday (the 26th), washing away homes, buildings, cars, and roads. Crops and farmland were also heavily impacted.
It is estimated that 27 provinces and over 125,000 Afghans have been affected by the flash floods and subsequent landslides. Nearly 7,000 homes have been destroyed, with close to a thousand more damaged.
In Pakistan, at least 13 have been reported dead in Karachi alone. Power is out across the city. Landline and cell networks have also been hit hard by the sheer volume of calls in and out of the city.
How are Afghanistan and Pakistan recovering?
In Afghanistan, blood drives have been started to help the injured, according to a local police spokesperson.
Additionally, Afghan security forces have been sent to impacted areas to assist search and rescue teams. NATA is aiding the military by supplying food, water, and blankets.
In Pakistan, rescuers are using boats to assist affected working-class communities while helicopters assess the damage from above. The military has distributed over 10,000 meals and have also begun construction on flood walls alongside major rivers and water channels.
The Pakistani Prime Minister will be announcing plans to combat flooding and the issues that arise from floods. He has stated that drainage channels will be cleaned, the sewage system fixed, and Karachi’s water supply issue solved.
Karachi already struggled with water drainage prior to the extreme rain, leading to especially vulnerable to the flooding. Numerous solutions had been proposed in the past to fix this issue, but none were approved by the government.
What can you do to help?
The Red Cross and NATO have gotten involved and are currently providing guidance and aid to these two countries. Donations to the Red Cross will help them provide aid to people not just in Afghanistan, but around the globe.
The Pashtun Council America has set up a GoFundMe here to assist flood victims.
*Note that W.A.A. does not take responsibility for actions of fundraisers/donation links that you to donate to. This is not an affiliate link.
Written by: Anthony Rebello
Edited By: Alina Zhong