New images from NASA’s MODIS satellite sensor on August 28 show how a combination of heavy rains and an overflowing Indus River has inundated much of the southern Sindh province.
In the center of the image, a large area of dark blue shows the Indus flooding 100 kilometers (62 mi) wide, turning what were once agricultural fields into a huge inland lake.
It’s a stunning change from a photo taken by the same satellite on the same date last year, which compared the river and its tributaries to small, narrow bands, highlighting the extent of the damage across the country. Severely affected areas.
This year’s monsoon is already the wettest in the country since records began in 1961, the Pakistan Meteorological Department said, and the season still has a month to go.
Both Sindh and Balochistan received 500% above average rainfall, inundating entire villages and farmlands, destroying buildings and destroying crops.
While the region is expected to witness mostly dry weather in the coming days, experts say it will take a few days for the waters to recede.
‘Flood of Apocalyptic Proportions’
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he visited Sindh and saw firsthand how floods displaced entire villages and towns.
“There is no dry land that we can see. The scale of this tragedy is … 33 million people, which is more than the population of Sri Lanka or Australia,” he said.
“And while we understand that the new reality of climate change is more extreme weather or monsoons, more extreme heat waves like we saw earlier this year, the current level of flooding is of apocalyptic proportions. We certainly believe that this is not a new climate. Reality.”
Satellite images from Maxar Technologies from other parts of the country show how entire villages and hundreds of green fields have been destroyed by fast-moving floods.
Images from Gudpur in Punjab show floodwaters have damaged homes and replaced the land with snaking paths of bare earth.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived there on Wednesday to inspect the flood damage in North Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The country’s National Disaster Management Authority said most of the recent deaths were recorded in the province after water levels rose at an alarming rate.
Sharif said on Tuesday that it was “the worst flood in Pakistan’s history” and that international help was needed to deal with the scale of the disaster.
CNN’s Rachel Ramirez, Angela Dewan, Paul B. Additional reporting by Murphy and John Camensind Brumby.