Pakistan has the world's largest contiguous irrigated landscape, with riverside agriculture and human-made canals replacing natural floodplains, wetlands, and river flows that would traditionally hold more water and ease flooding.
Villagers in Vasandawali, in Pakistan's Pujab Province, evacuate as their fields are inundated on August 23.
Just as levees were breached during Hurricane Katrina—flooding large sections of New Orleans—embankments, levees, and canals along Pakistan's Indus River are bursting at the seams, according to the Getty news service.
Residents of Nowshera, Pakistan, remove furniture from their homes on August 2.
The environmental stresses in Pakistan—combined with other social, economic, and political pressures—could threaten border security with Afghanistan, China, and India.
The disaster may also open doors for terrorists, according to a new U.S. Congressional Research Report.For instance, the U.S. has reported that the Taliban are threatening to target aid workers.
Waiting for Relief
Families wait for relief at a camp in Nowshera, Pakistan (seen on August 3).
Extreme events such as heat waves, drought, and monsoon floods are believed by some scientists to be increasing with global warming, and the disasters in Russia and Pakistan may be indications of this, Rosanne D'Arrigo, a research professor at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said in an email to National Geographic News in July.