• Emily Zavala

Devastating Floods Around the World


Southern Pakistan has been subject to detrimental floods, threatening the livelihoods of many (Ali Hyder Junejo/Wikimedia Commons).


In the past year, the world has witnessed some of the most catastrophic floods that have brought unprecedented damage. Some of the most predominant flooding has occurred in Pakistan, the United States, and various parts of Africa.


The Devastation in Pakistan


Pakistan has experienced some of the worst flooding in their history. The heavy rainfall in the past months has been disastrous for residents. Homes, buildings, schools, communities, cities, and fields have been destroyed and families have been separated. Overall, Pakistan has reported more than 1,600 deaths in the following weeks as bodies continue to be discovered. Many of the deceased have been identified as children and thousands more have been severely injured. Over 33 million Pakistanis have been impacted by the flooding and the number will rise as heavy rain and more flooding is expected.


The European Space Agency has reported that about one-third of Pakistan is experiencing flooding from their observations. The predominant flooding areas are the Sindh and Balochistan provinces with some of the most impacted cities being Larkana, Hyderabad, and Karachi. Throughout the cities, many agricultural fields and land have been horribly destroyed and damaged. The loss of large farming land has sparked a fear of the expected loss in food in the near future. With Pakistan being a significant producer of rice, nations around the world are expected to feel the loss in rice production. Livestock has been killed and hurt, also removing a large source of food for the residents. Almost 50% of Pakistan is domestically employed work for the agricultural industry in the country, which has sparked concern for the possibility of rising unemployment as a long-term effect.


Most importantly, the already-low food levels in Pakistan are set to skyrocket and leave people hungry, more than they were before the flooding. Many Pakistanis are seeking food shelters, many desperate to feed their children. In an interview with NPR, Zubaida Begum shares her difficulty in finding food for her and her children, finding public restrooms for the women to use, and protecting herself from the chaos and fear that has developed between the impacted people in the area.

Cities have now reported floods higher than 10 feet, making future expectations of reconstruction and aid bleak. Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, has reported the expected damages to be $10 million. As the flooding continues to affect the country’s infrastructure, the World Health Organization has warned of possible diseases like malaria that could spread due to the flooding and weather conditions. The flooding disaster continues to be watched.


What is happening in South Africa?


In the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, there have been detrimental floods of over 12 feet that have destroyed homes and large regions. Many roads have become completely inaccessible and impossible to cross. This has made it harder for those affected to evacuate and find shelter. Furthermore, over 500 have lost their lives in the devastation and thousands have been left homeless, hungry, and fearful of what’s to come. Neighboring cities have attempted to make evacuations as the flooding continues to expand all over South Africa. The coastal and southern parts of the country have been impacted the most. Around 40,000 people have been affected by the monstrous flooding that continues to occur.


How has the United States been Affected by Flooding?


Over a short series of time, the United States has also felt consequences from floods. A great majority of the Northern region of the country has been hit with flash flooding. States like Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, Missouri, and Wyoming have felt the dangerous flooding. The floods have begun to tear up infrastructure and buildings in many cities. Some houses have been completely washed away and taken by the large waves of the floods, as well as hundreds of personal vehicles.


Many areas that have been experiencing severe droughts for years have suddenly experienced abnormal amounts of rainfall and continuing flash flooding. Weather like this was completely unexpected in the United States, but holds great effects on the lives of many.


What can be the Global Cause of the Flooding?


Many scientists and research analysts have determined that global flooding is an effect of climate change. The real cause is the rising global temperatures in our climate caused by toxic and harmful greenhouse gasses. The rising temperatures in the atmosphere have aided the development of monsoons, heavy humidity, and rainfall.


The effects of climate change have pushed many to reevaluate the daily habits of our world and how we globally operate. The flooding is predicted to be one of the first visual effects of climate change and the growing climate disasters are expected to grow larger and more dangerous on an annual basis.


What Can We Do?


Organizations like UNICEF are raising money to send donations to the children and families in Pakistan that were affected by the flooding. Food, shelter, and helpful resources will be provided. Global Giving is fundraising to send money and aid for those who have been affected in South Africa as well. We can only hope that communities globally and nationally are met with help and aid as the floods continue.