For Pakistan, 2022 may remain the year of all climate disasters. First, there was the infernal heat of the spring, which reached, in May, 50 degrees in some localities and aggravated the melting of the glaciers in the high mountains and the drought in the plains; then, since the early onset of the rainy season in mid-June, torrential rains, accompanied by floods, submerged a third of the country.
that “exceeds any limit, any pattern observed in the past”, warned, on August 29, in an interview with AFP, the Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman – including the floods of 2010, which claimed 2,000 victims. The current toll, which is getting worse every hour, is very provisional due to the difficulty of relief workers to reach the villages located in the remote mountainous region and cut off from the rest of the country due to the destruction of roads or bridges, brought by the waves.
“We are used to rainy season every year, but we have never seen anything like this”the Minister recalled. “Eight weeks of constant rain” which hit hardest in regions already affected by high spring temperatures.
Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to climate change. It is in the eighth position among the countries most affected by extreme weather events, according to a study by the NGO Germanwatch published in 2021. Its population, weakened by poverty and growing inequality, is particularly exposed on climate risks. And the public authorities, immersed in repeated political crises, have not yet been able to put in place effective risk prevention and management strategies. Pushed to the limits of its adaptive capacity by climate change, Pakistan may take time to recover from this new disaster.
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