Striking new satellite images that reveal the extent of Pakistan’s record flooding show how an overflowing Indus River has turned part of Sindh Province into a 100 kilometer-wide inland lake.
Swaths of the country are now underwater, after what United Nation officials have described as a “monsoon on steroids” brought the heaviest rainfall in living memory and flooding that has killed 1,162 people, injured 3,554 and affected 33 million since mid-June.
The new images, taken on August 28 from NASA’s MODIS satellite sensor, show how a combination of heavy rain and an overflowing Indus River have inundated much of Sindh province in the South.
In the center of the picture, a large area of dark blue shows the Indus overflowing and flooding an area around 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide, turning what were once agricultural fields into a giant inland lake.
It’s a shocking transformation from the photo taken by the same satellite on the same date last year, which shows the river and its tributaries contained in what appear by comparison to be small, narrow bands, highlighting the extent of the damage in one of the country’s hardest-hit areas.
This year’s monsoon is already the country’s wettest since records began in 1961, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, and the season still has one month to go.
In both Sindh and Balochistan provinces, rainfall has been 500% above average, engulfing entire villages and farmland, razing buildings and wiping out crops.