4 August 2010

Latest update on the flood wave in Pakistan

Posted by Dave Petley

The flood and landslide disaster in Pakistan continues to play out in slow motion.  The recovery operation in the north of the country continues to be hampered by the level of destruction inflicted upon the roads.  The Pamir Times yesterday posted some images of the Karakoram Highway north of Gilgit, which serve to show all too well just how difficult the recovery operations are going to be:

The areas affected by the flood, and those that will be affected over the next few days, are shown on this new map from OCHA:

A good sense of how bad things are in the northwest of the country can be gained from this Save the Children rapid assessment report for the Swat Valley.  They found that, for example: 

  • 21% of housing structures have been damaged; 
  • 3% of housing structures have been effectively destroyed;
  • Only 28% of household have access to a functional latrine;
  • In the 80 surveyed communities, there were 75 reported cases of separated children, 6 cases of missing children, and 16 children who have lost one or both of their parents. 
  • 26% of school buildings have been damaged
  • 54% of communities reported that most families in their communities have no food stock available at home
  • Only 1.5% of communities reported to have received food aid
  • For 45% of surveyed communities, the main sources of drinking water are rivers, ponds, or lakes
  • 55% of communities reported that injured and sick community members are not receiving any medical treatment.

Meanwhile the flood wave continues to move downstream, causing misery as it proceeds.  Judging by the PakMet hydrographs. It is now clear that the flood has peaked at Taunsa (for locations see my earlier post; they are also marked on the OCHA map above):

Whilst the river level is now rising rapidly at Guddu:

And has started to rise at Sukkur:

Meanwhile further rain is forecast for Sindh today, which could serve to exacerbate the situation.