In the face of extreme monsoon flooding, Pakistan’s largest lake has had several breaches.
Lake Manchar, Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake, overflowed in early September 2022 as devastating floods hit the Indus River Valley. Lake Manchar has had several breaches, both natural and artificial. The artificial breach was made by officials attempting to keep the lake from overflowing catastrophically into densely populated areas. Several hundred villages and more than 100,000 residents have been put in the path of floodwaters from the breaches.
Pakistan has faced its worst flooding in a decade after being drenched by extreme summer monsoon rains. In fact, more than 1,300 people have died and thousands more have been injured according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority. Hundreds of thousands more people have been displaced by the extreme flooding that has destroyed more than 1 million homes.
The natural-color satellite images on this page were acquired by the Operational Land Imagers aboard Landsat 9 on June 25 and August 28, 2022, and aboard Landsat 8 on September 5, 2022. The detailed image (below) shows breaches of the Main Nara Valley Drain. This is a canal that connects Lake Manchar (visible in the lower part of the image) to Lake Hamal, which lies about 160 kilometers (100 miles) to the north.
The lake lies west of the Indus River in Sindh province, one of the areas hardest hit by flooding. So far this year Sindh has received more than five times its average rainfall.
With many water systems damaged by the flooding, government authorities and international relief agencies are concerned about safe access to drinking water, food insecurity, sanitation, and public health. On August 30, the Pakistani government declared a national emergency and, with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, called for international aid for humanitarian relief efforts.
NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.