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Brisbane river flood

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Pakistan flood maps 2010  

Deforestation behind Pakistan catastrophe in 2010



Read the full article:
A land left to drown by the ‘timber mafia’
Herald Scotland
29 Aug 2010


The Wikipedia article "2010 Pakistan floods" (d.d. June 19th 2012) confirms that this mega-flood was due to extreme, but certainly not unprecedented, precipitation in excess of 87%. No mention is made of the effects of deforestation outlined in the article below.

Pakistan’s horrendous floods were a disaster waiting to happen, when the destructive effects of intense - but not unprecedented - rains were magnified by a deforested landscape and huge stockpiles of illegally-felled logs.
Deforestation and other actions of the country’s ‘timber mafia’ were ticking time bombs detonated by monsoon rains, it is argued in a feature article in the Herald Scotland:
“This year’s monsoon lashing northern Pakistan with unusual intensity would historically have been absorbed by extensive forests, much like multiple layers of blotting paper, allowing the rains to run off more sedately than in modern times.
“But this month the mud and water deluge cascaded off the tree-bare mountains and hills with exceptional force and barrelled down towards the plains in mammoth fury … Trees felled by so-called illegal loggers – an infamous “timber mafia” that has representatives in the Pakistan Parliament in Islamabad and connections right to the top of government and the military – are stacked in the innumerable nullahs [steep narrow valleys], gorges and ravines leading into the main rivers.
“Propelled by the force of the run-off, the logs turned into instruments of destruction, smashing all in their wake. Rivers and dams turned black with timber. Relief workers said bridges, homes and people were destroyed and swept away by the hurtling and swirling logs before the waters spread on to the plains below, engulfing an area of more than 60,000 square miles, more than twice the land area of Scotland…”

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