Deadly rains

Pakistan alone reported at least 50 fatalities, predominantly in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

April 18, 2024


Heavy rains and extreme weather events are becoming increasingly common across the globe, serving as alarming indicators of the escalating impact of climate change. The recent torrential rains and storms that battered parts of the Gulf and South Asia are grim reminders of this reality.

In Oman, the death toll from the storms rose to 18, with a significant number of casualties being children. Inclement weather also wreaked havoc in the UAE and Bahrain where offices and schools remained shut. Flights were cancelled in Dubai, a major financial center in the region. Similar devastation unfolded in Pakistan and Afghanistan, where heavy rains claimed the lives of scores of people. In Pakistan alone, at least 50 fatalities were reported, predominantly in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Landslides, flash floods and collapsing houses exacerbated the crisis, leaving communities reeling from the aftermath of the deluge. These extreme weather events are indicative of the intensifying impacts of climate change. Despite growing awareness of the climate crisis and its impacts, our response mechanisms remain inadequate, leaving communities vulnerable to the increasingly severe effects of extreme weather events. One of the key challenges lies in the lack of effective preparedness and response measures. Many regions, particularly in vulnerable areas, lack sufficient infrastructure and resources to withstand and recover from such disasters. Flood-resistant buildings, early warning systems and evacuation plans are often lacking, exacerbating the humanitarian toll of these events.

To break this cycle, urgent action is needed on multiple fronts. Governments must prioritise climate adaptation and invest in resilient infrastructure, particularly in vulnerable regions. International cooperation is essential to mobilise resources and support for adaptation efforts, especially in developing countries. Additionally, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must be ramped up to mitigate the long-term impacts of climate change.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2024.

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