Flooding in an LEDC - Pakistan

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FLOODING IN AN LEDC ­ PAKISTAN
WHERE AND WHEN:
On the 26th July 2010 the flooding in Pakistan began, as a result of heavy
monsoon rains in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan
regions.
Pakistan is located in southwest Asia, and has 24 rivers, with one main river, Indus, that has over 80 tributaries. 2.87 percent
of Pakistan's land mass is water, but one fifth of the total land area was flooded, out of the 340,130 square miles of total land
area.
CAUSES:
Due to heavy monsoon rains, rivers were full and the ground was fully
saturated. The rain was 87 percent more than average and it was the second
highest rainfall for 50 years. Over 200 millimetres fell in the four day wet spell
at the beginning of the flooding; it was record-breaking amounts for some
areas! A magazine article said that the cause of this unprecedented amount
of rain was due to the freezing of the jet stream. This was very unusual and
also caused a heat wave in Russia, resulting in wild fires, and 2007 flooding in
the UK.
From the two pictures on the right it is clear that there are many rivers in
Pakistan, with the Indus, as one of the world's greatest rivers, running
through the middle with its many tributaries. Most of the flooding was around
the Indus, and heavier flooding around barrages, dams and where tributaries
join each other and then the Indus. The flooding was made worse in the north
because of the mountains. The mountains' steep slopes would have made the
water get to the river very quickly, through surface run-off, and made the
river become a torrent. The water was funnelled, and when the water
reached non-mountainous areas it was gushing through villages, demolishing
infrastructure and bridges alike.
Other causes are that there is a big timber industry in Pakistan. There are millions of trees being cut down ­ whole forests
even. This means that interception cannot happen when it rains; consequently the water is not delayed, and gets to the
ground and river very fast. This causes the discharge in the river to rise very quickly, also due to the fact that the water gets
to the river via fast surface run-off ­ thanks to the water being unable to infiltrate the already saturated ground.
1 Dominic Butcher

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EFFECTS:
The effects of the flooding were catastrophic; within a month
more than 20million people were affected. Inaccessible buildings
prevented access to possessions, food, clean water and shelter.
The waters wrecked infrastructure in general. Transport is now
virtually impossible due to the roads being inaccessible and cars
will be swept away with other modes of transport.
Communication will be difficult, due to the problems travelling,
aerials destroyed and electricity cut off.…read more

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RESPONSES:
Pakistan had managed to deploy 150 boats and 21 helicopters,
and had started to send out troops in rescue efforts. The UN
called for $460 million dollars to help bring shelter, food and
clean water. By early August more than 352, 291 people had
been rescued. By the end of August, $687 million had been
donated to humanitarian assistance.…read more

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