Pakistan floods: Devastating extent of deadly monsoon revealed in before and after satellite images

·2-min read

These before and after pictures of Pakistan lay bare the devastation caused by unprecedented flash floods caused by historic monsoon rains.

The images, from space technology firm Maxar Technologies, show homes and fields in Rojhan in Rajanpur District, Punjab, submerged after floods that have washed away roads, crops, infrastructure and bridges.

The disasters have affected more than 33 million people, over 15 per cent of the country’s 220 million population.

More than 1,100 people have died in Pakistan’s deadly floods (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)
More than 1,100 people have died in Pakistan’s deadly floods (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has labelled the floods in Pakistan "a climate catastrophe" as he called for global action to help the country.

In a video message to launch a major UN appeal to help victims, Mr Guterres said the Pakistani people are facing "a monsoon on steroids - the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding".

And he urged the world to "stop sleepwalking" into the destruction of the planet due to rising temperatures - hitting out at countries for putting climate action on the back burner and the world in growing danger.

"This climate catastrophe has killed more than 1,000 people with many more injured," he said.

"Millions are homeless, schools and health facilities have been destroyed, livelihoods are shattered, critical infrastructure wiped out, and people’s hopes and dreams have washed away."

This combination of handout satellite pictures shows an overview of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on March 24, 2022 (left) and on August 28 (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)
This combination of handout satellite pictures shows an overview of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on March 24, 2022 (left) and on August 28 (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)
The UN launched a major appeal seeking to raise $160m in emergency aid for flooding victims (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)
The UN launched a major appeal seeking to raise $160m in emergency aid for flooding victims (Maxar Technologies/AFP via Getty)

Mr Guterres said dealing with the crisis requires the world’s collective and prioritised attention, as he launched a 160 million US dollar (£137 million) appeal to help provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education, protection and health support.

South Asia is one of the world’s global climate crisis hotspots - an area where people are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts - he warned.

Homes surrounded by floodwaters in Sohbat Pur city, Pakistan (Zahid Hussain/AP) (AP)
Homes surrounded by floodwaters in Sohbat Pur city, Pakistan (Zahid Hussain/AP) (AP)

"As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner as global emissions of greenhouse gases are still rising, putting all of us - everywhere - in growing danger," he said.

"Let us work together to respond quickly and collaboratively to this colossal crisis.

"Let us all step up in solidarity and support the people of Pakistan in their hour of need.

"Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country."