Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan Floods’

Deadly Floods in Pakistan

Monday, April 4th, 2016

Torrential rains and flash floods have killed nearly fifty people in Pakistan and injured many more. The country’s prime minister directed the National Disaster Management Authority to provide timely aid to victims. Family members of those killed in the floods will be compensated with $3,000, owners of destroyed homes will receive $1,000, those with partially damaged homes and those who sustained injuries will receive $500. Reading the news of this terrible tragedy reminded me of what I had read in Mega-Disasters: the Science of Predicting the Next Catastrophe (page 64).

In 1970, a powerful cyclone struck East Pakistan, killing almost 500,000 people. The government, based in West Pakistan, failed to attend to the victims. The disaster occurred in the context of political factions favoring a separatist movement. Enraged by the inept response to the disaster, the population was soon engulfed in civil war. East Pakistan declared its independence in 1971 and changed its name to Bangladesh.  U.S. policymakers believe such responses to weather-related disasters may become more common.

The U.S. Naval War College is undertaking research to consider how climate change can impact global political stability. It is sobering to consider the issues of access to water or food security arising from a warmer world.