Pakistan: A submerged population

The monsoon rain has left a wide range of Pakistan‘s populated regions flooded. Especially the floodplains surrounding the River Indus are severly affected, as images of the Smos satellite show. Also other satellites, such as TerraSAR-X and the recently launched TanDEM-X support emergency response for the slowly growing international aid. These technologies are useful for location-related information, but to fully understand the dimension of the floods, it helps to have a closer look at the population distribution. The following gridded population cartogram (an enhanced version from the world population atlas) draws a picture of where people live in Pakistan. The underlying elevation information allows to understand the topography and the Indus is included for better orientation. The map shows that beyond the urban centres of the largest cities (labelled), much of the about 170 million people in the country are living along the rivers and in the floodplains while the Eastern and Southeastern regions remain less populated:

Pakistan Population Map
(click for larger map)

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