Apr 6, 2011

Heavy Rains and Dry Lands Don’t Mix:Reflections on the 2010 Pakistan Flood

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Punjab
Sindh
Balochistan
Pakistan
by
Michon Scott
,
NASA
looding forced millions of Pakistanis to flee their homes in July and August 2010. Photo: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN
looding forced millions of Pakistanis to flee their homes in July and August 2010. Photo: Abdul Majeed Goraya/IRIN

The U.S. Agency for International Development estimates that the Pakistan floods affected more than 18 million people, caused 1,985 deaths, and damaged or destroyed 1.7 million houses. It was perhaps the worst flood in Pakistan’s modern history...While La Niña increased the chance of rain events, it did not necessarily increase the intensity and unusual persistence. Instead, some meteorologists speculated in late 2010 that the jet stream might have set the stage for floods in Pakistan, as well as the summer of drought and fire in Russia. Some noted...that the jet stream had taken on an unusual pattern, stretching down over the Eurasian continent and stagnating the weather patterns.