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Flooding in Pakistan

Flooding in Pakistan

Though many areas in northwest Pakistan were bracing for heavy rain and additional flash flooding on August 4, 2010, the city of Kheshgi, in northwest Pakistan, had clear skies. This image, taken by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite reveals a city awash in flood water.

Thick with mud, the Kabul River is pale green in this false color image. Clearer water is dark blue. The river flows through its usual channel, but in places, water seeps over the channel and across the landscape. The buildings and roads of Kheshgi are silver. Spots of turquoise blue—shallow, muddy water or water-logged ground—covers several sections of the city.

On the south side of the Kabul River, water flows down the hills, washing over neighborhoods. The bare ground in the hills is brown and tan. Plant-covered land, red in this image, is divided into long, narrow rectangles, pointing to agriculture. Geometric shapes under the water near the river are probably submerged fields of crops. Thousands of acres of crops had been lost in floods throughout Pakistan, said the United Nations.

Kheshgi is in the Nowshera district in the Khyber Pakhutnkhwa province. As of August 2, Khyber Pakhutnkhwa was the hardest hit province in Pakistan, said the United Nations, and Nowshera was the most impacted district in the province. Nowshera reported 500,000 people displaced with 161 dead, said the Government of Khuber Pakhtunkhwa.

The floods affected communities throughout Pakistan. More than 1,100 people had died, 15,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, and at least one million people were in need of emergency assistance throughout Pakistan, said the United Nations on August 2. The floods occurred as unusually heavy monsoon rains fell over Pakistan.

NASA image courtesy NASA/GSFC/MITI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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