"Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors."

-Jonas Salk

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Kheshgi, Pakistan, Flooded

Kheshgi, Pakistan, August 4, 2010.

The population of this area is, according to Wikipedia, approximately 100,000.

(Click image for higher resolution.)

Blue areas are flooded urban areas, greenish-grey the Kabul River and a tributary, brownish grey are flooded agricultural fields, red is vegetation, white or pale grey is houses or pavement. It's about a 6 mile (10 km) square.

Via NASA's EarthObservatory site.


Vinny Burgoo said...

'"We have an atom bomb, but we have no helicopters and boats for rescue, no machinery to clear the roads and build temporary bridges quickly. We are just not geared to enable people in a crisis," says Mohammad Haroon, a lawyer in Nowshera.'

The NASA map at the linked page is mislabelled. The town marked 'Kheshgi' is actually Nowshera, the district capital. The worst-hit settlement appears to have been Azakhela, a refugee camp just beyond the left edge of your photo. It has been washed away. (Should I mention that its inhabitants were responsible for many recent bombings in the district? Better not.)

Michael Tobis said...

I don't see any reason not to mention it.

Do you think climate disaster hitting desperate enemies is helpful to us?

I expect that even if people don't blame the west for this disaster (which blame is, while easily overstated, not entirely unfounded) the fact that matters have just got even worse for them is not going to have them polishing their resumes and looking for an entry level position at Starbuck's.

I think it just shows how our problems are mutually entangled and mostly mutually exacerbating.

LC said...

Michael, this is OT, but given your interest in the media response to climate change as a story you may be interested in a very smart blog post from the Democracy in America blog at the Economist, regarding how the media can't seem to distinguish between "the exception to the rule" and "the rule" in describing extreme weather events, and therefore conclude that stories about extreme weather events should never, ever describe them in the context of climate change, even if the events are huge and clearly of the type predicted by climatologists. http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ftu6wo

Vinny Burgoo said...

(I overstated things: in recent years, a score or more of the camp's 15,000 inhabitants have been arrested in connection with several of the region's many bomb attacks. And it's Azakhel, not Azakhela. It was Pakistan's oldest refugee camp. One newly homeless Afghan said he had lived there for 32 years, which means it must have been around even before the Soviets blundered fraternally onto the scene.)

No, I don't think it's useful for climate disasters to smite anyone. Nothing good can come from this. I suppose I was wondering somewhat callously whether any of the devout and newly homeless will interpret the floods as divine retribution for some of their neighbours' actions. Unlikely. It's refreshing to see some locals place the blame where it mostly belongs - with their own government - but you're right. Most of the affected will probably blame the West.