Last summer Pakistan endured the worst flooding in its history. Today, many people are still homeless since the floods occurred and aid is still desperately needed in some areas. Oxfam recently announced that Pakistan’s flood defences are far from adequate in defending itself from another flood disaster. Unlike China, which has experienced more intense flooding similar to last year, Pakistan has not come close to experiencing another flood disaster. Both Pakistan and China depend on monsoon rainfall during this time of year to water their crops, but the magnitude of recent flood events in China (see Severe Floods in China) and last year’s floods in Pakistan (see Flood waters rising in Pakistan and Flood alleviation efforts in Pakistan) have been far beyond the norm, with scientists naming climate change as a likely culprit. Another report says that the freezing of the jet stream is the cause of the floods in Pakistan and the forest fires that broke out in Russia last summer.
Not long after the floods there were researchers claiming that Pakistan’s floods could have been predicted (see ‘Were the 2010 Pakistan floods predictable?’), but there was a retort made by scientists in Pakistan that even if the data was received it would have done little in the face of the much bigger problem of evacuating millions of people. Despite all this there is without a doubt much more that could have been done by government, especially regarding the use of flood data by scientists. According to a newspaper in Pakistan (The Nation), 70 percent of the relief aid pledged to Pakistan ‘has been realised‘, but 1 million flood-hit families are still homeless.