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Catastrophic flooding leaves over 1,100 dead, damages 300,000 homes in Pakistan: 'On a biblical scale'

"We could well have one fourth or one-third of Pakistan underwater."

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Flash flooding has killed over 1,100 people in Pakistan since mid-June amid a brutal monsoon season, marking the world's deadliest flooding over the last five years. The country is currently in a state of emergency as it is trying to aid over 33 million affected people and counting.

The hardest-hit province, Sindh, has seen almost eight times more rainfall in the month of August than the region's average. Across the country, floodwaters have inflicted an estimated $10 billion worth of infrastructure damage, destroying about 130 bridges and damaging over 300,000 homes.

Yasrab Shah, the director of a U.K.-based charity currently providing aid to people in Pakistan impacted by the floods, told the BBC the crisis could be measured "on a biblical scale."

"It's that level of devastation," he added.

What caused the flooding?

Although monsoon season happens every year from July to mid-September in Pakistan, this current season is dumping unprecedented amounts of rain onto the country, causing deadly flash flooding and landslides.

The nearby Indian Ocean, the source of the monsoon rains, is warming up at an even faster rate than most other areas of the world, largely due to human burning of dirty energy sources like coal, oil, and gas. As the planet heats up, the air can hold more moisture, meaning that rain events become more intense, frequent, and devastating, as is evident from the current monsoon season. 

On average, Pakistan encounters three or four periods of monsoon rains each season, but the country is currently slammed with its eighth spell of torrential rainfall this summer, CBS News reports.

Increased monsoon rainfall isn't the only factor behind the devastating flooding. Pakistan's federal minister for climate change, Sherry Rehman, explained that hotter temperatures have caused the country's many mountainous glaciers to melt at a faster rate than usual, contributing to the problem. 

"We could well have one-fourth or one-third of Pakistan underwater," Rehman told CBS News. 

How you can help

You can help the people of Pakistan by donating to relief organizations, which will be providing displaced families with food and essential items necessary to survive. Some organizations that you could donate to include the International Rescue Committee, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society, and Islamic Relief Worldwide.

Another important action you can take is openly talking about the overheating of our planet with your friends and family. Don't shy away from conversations about the issues impacting our communities, and inform yourself about the tech solutions and scientific advances being made every day in the fight to protect our planet. Here are some tips on how to start these discussions.

Raising awareness about our changing climate and talking about effective solutions will be crucial in preventing future devastating extreme weather events in our communities caused by the Earth's overheating.

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