Floods in Pakistan have killed more than 1500 people and displaced 20 million (that’s more than the Asia tsunami and Haiti combined). Cholera cases are being found and the next wave of deaths could conceivably come from disease rather than destruction.
With daily monsoon rains that are not abating, and will continue for another month, virtually all dams and barrages that run the length of the country are poised to flood (assuming they have not already flooded).
As standing crops were destroyed, these 20 million mostly rural populations have no means for livelihood for another year. The situation is so bad that Afghan refugees who have been in Pakistan for more than 2 decades are thinking of going back- a warn-torn country is preferable to the current misery!
To get a scale of the numbers, 20 million displaced is the equivalent of:
- All of New York state- can you imagine the whole state submerged?
- Pennsylvania + Delaware + Maryland – all three submerged and all residents looking for shelter somewhere?
- Michigan + Ohio. Where would the people go?
- Florida state – how will they survive?
For those of you who live in Europe, it would be like losing:
- Austria + Switzerland. Yes, it is like losing two whole countries- submerged and all their residents looking for food, shelter and the basics of life.
- Sweden + Norway + Denmark combined.
For those of you who live in other parts of the world, 20 million is :
- Israel + Jordan + Lebanon combined
- The native population of Saudi Arabia (excluding expats & foreign workers)
- The whole population of Sri Lanka
- All of Chile
We can cut the numbers in many ways but what we always come down to is human misery and very little hope at a mind-boggling scale.
What are YOU doing to help?
* Eye witness accounts mention that whole villages have been swept away and only doorways are left standing