New Delhi, Aug 31 (EFE).- Hit by the worst floods in years with at least 1,100 deaths, Pakistan has for decades lived under the yoke of climatic disasters that have claimed tens of thousands of lives and inflicted incalculable economic losses.
The world’s eighth most vulnerable country to climate change, according to Germanwatch’s 2021 risk index, has been devastated by heavy monsoon rains, affecting 33 million people and causing losses worth $10 billion, said officials.
The country suffered its first devastating floods just a month after its independence in September 1947.
But the deluge was only a prelude to the devastation of 1950, which claimed nearly 2,200 lives – the highest number of casualties from any climatic catastrophe, According to data from the Federal Flood Commission.
Heavy rains caused some 680 deaths just five years later.
Dozens of people died in floods in the following years until 1973, when the deluge claimed 474 lives.
“The floods have been continuously increasing since 1970s till recent with their serious and long term effects on living beings and infrastructure,” Pakistani academic Misbah Manzoor said in a joint analysis published in 2011.
The country exceeded the barrier of 1,000 deaths for the first time in almost half a century with the heavy rains in 1992 that left more than 38,000 sq km submerged.
The mega floods in 2010 killed nearly 2,000 people and affected 20 million.
The country has continued to register hundreds of deaths each year since then. More than 400 died in 2020.
The federal government has estimated a loss of at least $10 billion caused by weeks of floods this year. The figure is similar to that estimated in 2010.
The Pakistani authorities calculate the economic damage caused by the floods since independence at $38 billion.
It does not include the impact of other meteorological disasters and natural calamities like the devastating earthquake that shook Kashmir, a border region between Pakistan and India, in 2005.
The quake killed some 55,000 people in the Pakistani area. EFE