Pakistan is grappling with its worst flooding in living memory. A staggering one-third of the country was underwater as of this week, with more than 30 million people affected over the last few weeks—killing at least 1,100 civilians and pushing almost half a million people into relief camps, writes TIME.
U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has referred to the disaster as a "monsoon on steroids" that "requires urgent, collective action."
‘A Monsoon on Steroids.’ What To Know About Pakistan’s Catastrophic Floods (TIME)
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Excerpt from TIME: The immediate cause of the catastrophic floods is record rainfall. "So far this year the rain is running at more than 780% above average levels," said Abid Qaiyum Suleri, a director at Pakistan’s Sustainable Development Policy Institute. Melting glaciers—Pakistan has more glaciers than any other country—is also contributing to the floods, which are linked to climate change. It was only in 2010 when Pakistan last experienced such extensive floods but officials have already suggested that the damage from this year’s calamity is worse. That year, then-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had described them as the worst natural disaster he had ever seen—not just in Pakistan but anywhere in the world. The U.N. said Tuesday that it is seeking $160 million in emergency aid for the ongoing floods, noting that nearly 1 million homes had been damaged and more than 700,000 livestock were lost.
According to the Independent, hotter air, an unusually heavy monsoon, melting glaciers and a poverty-stricken population living with infrastructure incapable of protecting it – the recent devastating floods in Pakistan were due to a number of factors. But the most important cause is, undeniably, the climate crisis.
What caused Pakistan’s deadly floods? From melting glaciers to ‘monster’ monsoon (Independent)
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Excerpt from the Independent: South Asia has always been a victim of a hostile climate, but this year is turning out to be one of the worst for the region. First, India and Pakistan were hit by the worst heatwave on record – made 30 times more likely due to the climate crisis – and now, multiple cycles of heavy downpours since June have sparked calamitous flooding, leaving one third of Pakistan underwater. More than 1,191 people, including 399 children, have been killed so far, while 33 million people, or 15 per cent of the country’s 220 million population, have been affected. The entire region is responsible for only a minuscule level of carbon emissions, with Pakistan and Bangladesh producing less than 1 per cent, but it is a "climate crisis hotspot", as highlighted recently by UN secretary general António Guterres and previously in reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
In another world story, the "physical integrity" of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station in south-eastern Ukraine has been "violated", the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has said, writes the Guardian.
"It is obvious that the plant and physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times," Grossi told reporters after he returned with part of his team to the Ukrainian-controlled area on Thursday. Grossi said although he would continue to worry about the plant, the situation was "more predictable" now.
Physical integrity of Zaporizhzhia plant ‘violated’, says UN nuclear chief (Guardian)
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Excerpt from the Guardian: Rafael Grossi led a team of inspectors to the Russian-controlled plant that has been frequently shelled in recent weeks, raising fears of a nuclear incident. Grossi told reporters he was able to tour the "whole" site, including the emergency and control systems. He also said he managed to talk to local residents and the plant’s Ukrainian staff, who stayed at the plant when the war began. He said the workers are in a difficult situation but are "calm and moving [onwards]". Ukraine and Russia have traded blame over attacks on and near the plant, with Ukraine claiming they are false-flag operations carried out by Russia.
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