The monsoon arrived late this year. Since we landed in Pakistan it rained continuously for three whole days. Being English, I am used to above-average levels of precipitation – in fact I quite like it, and usually prefer it to hot, sunny weather – but three days of rain without a single break was a bit much, even for me.
It was certainly “a bit much” for Pakistan. The north of the country is mountainous, and local drainage systems are unable to cope with the amount of rain that fell in the last few days. Drains overflowed, rivers swelled, and all of that water, millions and millions of gallons of it, rushed downhill. The result was predictable: widespread flooding across the north of the country. As of this morning over 100 people have been killed and thousands more made homeless. In some areas entire streets are underwater, entire neighbourhoods swamped by the foaming torrent.
As always, it is the poor that suffer the most. The areas in which they can afford to live are those most susceptible to flooding – the land there is cheap for a reason! – and so they are washed out of their homes, their livelihoods disappearing downstream.
This is a turbulent land.