About 7 or 8 years ago, Science had published an article that talked about the coming water crisis in South Asia and its potential consequences for Pakistan-India relations. Its prediction (and it was dire) was that first there will be floods due to melting glaciers and other climactic factors, and then there will be a prolong drought. The water crisis, of course, may put the two rival countries at the brink of war. Here is a recent oped that talks about this flood & drought situation in South Asia and what can we expect in the near future. With changing climate, unfortunately, we are going to see more and more calamities affecting large and small populations across the globe.
As for the current flood in Pakistan, read this excellent article by writer Daniyal Mueenuddin: A Lifetime, Washed Away (I will also have an excerpt from it below a photograph).
Here is a map of the devastation in the path of the mighty river Indus:
And here are some pictures:
This gives us an idea of the floods. This is in Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province. Notice that the residents from one side probably will be trying to cross to the other side. (Image from Reuters)
A town in the northwestern region of Pakistan.
This is in the Nowshera district in the Northwestern Pakistan
No - this is not a stunt. This truck, with all these people, is really trying to cross these waters.
Another picture from the Nowshera district. Notice the waist-deep water where everyone is standing. I have no idea, how that truck in the background is going to make even a mile.
This is an effective rescue by a sister of her younger brother near Sukkur, in the southern province of Sindh.
This is near Taunsa barrage in Punjab province.
Here villagers are wading through floodwaters with their livestock. For many, this is the only thing they are left with. This picture is from the Sukkur district in Sindh province.
This last picture provides me with an opportunity to post an excerpt from Daniyal Mueenuddin's article.
A few days ago, I stood atop a 30-foot-high levee in Pakistan’s south Punjab, looking out as the waters from the greatest Indus River flood in memory flowed past, through orchards, swirling around a village on higher ground half a mile out. Twenty miles wide, the flood was almost dreamlike, the speeding water, as it streamed through the upper branches of trees, carrying along bits of brightly colored plastic and clumps of grass.
Many of the displaced people had left the area in the past few days, driving whatever was left of their herds, carrying whatever they were able to rescue.
I found most pitiful a family gathered around a prostrate brown-and-white brindled cow. The father told me that the cow had been lost in the water for four days, and the previous night it had clambered up on another section of the levee, a mile away. The people of this area recognize their cattle as easily as you or I recognize a cousin or neighbor — they sleep with their animals around them at night, and graze them all day; their animals are born and die near them. Someone passing by told the family that their cow had been found, and the father went and got it and led it to their little encampment.
In the early morning the cow had collapsed, and I could see it would soon be dead. Its eyes were beginning to dull, as the owner squatted next to it, sprinkling water into its mouth, as if it were possible to revive it. Its legs were swollen from standing in water, and its chest and torso were covered with deep cuts and scrapes, sheets of raw flesh where branches rushing past must have hit it.
The rest of the family sat nearby on a string bed, resigned, waiting for the end. This was their wealth, but when it died they would tip it into the water and let it float away to the south. Through the past few days they had seen it all, houses collapsed, trees uprooted, grain spoiled, and this was just one more blow.