Comment and Compare the Boscastle and Pakistan Floods

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During the 2010 monsoon season (July and August), Pakistan experienced the worst floods recorded in its history. Heavy rainfall caused flash floods in the north and north-western regions of the country. The subsequent run-off created a southward moving mass of water approximately the size of the United Kingdom. The flood waters travelled downstream through Punjab and Sindh until they reached the Arabian Sea. Many of the main tributaries feeding into the Indus River were also flooded, further inundating agricultural lands. In total, some 20 million people were displaced and 50,000 square km were submerged, while standing crops, infrastructure and land were damaged extensively. The extent of the destruction caused by the 2010 floods is hard to comprehend. The floods impacted seventy-eight districts, resulting in the deaths of over 1900 people with at least another 2900 injured. In the areas receiving flood-waters 70% of the roads and bridges were swept away. More than 10,000 schools and 500 hospitals were destroyed or damaged, as were about 1.6 million homes. In a relatively short period of time, millions of Pakistanis who were already having a difficult time making a living before the floods found themselves homeless and unsure of how to survive. The losses were largest for crops with direct damage to 2.1 million hectares of standing Kharif crops (crops that are sown in the rainy season) – mainly cotton, rice, sugarcane and vegetables; one million tonnes of food and seed stocks were lost along with a large number of on-farm water channels and wells. Livestock were decimated during the flash floods in the hilly areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while grazing animals and poultry were also lost in the plains area. In all, approximately 200,000 livestock (including cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys) were initially confirmed dead, with the total rising somewhat over time. Of immediate concern was the increased risk of outbreaks of contagious diseases due to unsafe...
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