The Indus River Watershed on August 18th, 2010.
The Indus River Watershed on August 13th, 2001.
The beautiful imagery of this satellite image belies the terrible ongoing event that is causing it. The flooding in northern Pakistan started in mid-July when monsoon rains exceeded expectations and overwhelmed an already overstressed watershed of the Indus River. Since then, the region's population of over 15 million have been terribly affected - millions homeless, over 1,500 people dead, and most with little or no access to proper shelter, sanitation, food, or health care. Extent of flooding graphic via The NYT
The situation is expected to worsen, as more rains are expected in the coming weeks.
There are many ways to get involved. Donate time, money, or expertise to aid organizations or local communities. Spread the word about the event to friends and family. UNICEF has made clean drinking water and food to be priorities among aid divisions. Donate via UNICEF here. The Red Cross lists shelter and medical aid as a major concern for immediate relief needs. Donate to the American Red Cross here. The Huffington Post has also assembled a more extensive list of ways to help here.
Images via NASA Earth Observatory.