Pakistan flooding death toll tops 1,000 as rains continue to pour | Climate Crisis News


The death toll from devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan surpassed 1,000 as several countries, including Qatar and Iran, pledged relief in the wake of a deluge described as a “humanitarian disaster of epic proportions”.

The toll since June has reached 1,033 with 119 people dying in the past 24 hours, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said Sunday.

It warned of “very high” flooding in some areas along the Kabul and Indus rivers, most notably in Nowshera in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province and Kalabagh and Chashma in Punjab province.

Large parts of the country remain under water, especially Balochistan, KP and Sindh provinces in the south, while heavy rains continue to ravage parts of the country. At least 347 people have died in Sindh, followed by Balochistan (238) and KP (226).

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams in the Indian subcontinent, but also brings with it a wave of destruction every year. Some regions saw 600 percent more precipitation than average this year.

Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani senator and the country’s top climate official, said in a video posted on Twitter that Pakistan is experiencing a “serious climate catastrophe, one of the worst in the decade”.

“We are currently at ground zero on the frontline of extreme weather, in a relentless cascade of heatwaves, wildfires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake eruptions, flooding and now the monster monsoon of the decade is not underway. -stop the havoc across the country,” she said.

Officials say this year’s catastrophic floods affected more than 33 million people – one in seven Pakistanis – destroying crops, livestock and nearly a million homes.

The NDMA said more than 809,000 hectares (two million acres) of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed and 149 bridges washed away.

Khaista Rehman, 55, unrelated to the climate minister, sought shelter on the side of the Islamabad-Peshawar highway with his wife and three children after his home in Charsadda flooded overnight.

“Thank goodness we are now safe on this road, quite high from the flooded area,” he said. “Our crops are gone and our house is destroyed, but I am thankful to Allah that we are alive and I will start life again with my sons.”

Icecold water

The government has declared the devastating floods a “national emergency” and is seeking help from friendly countries.

“We see complete destruction – hundreds of thousands of collapsed houses, more than a thousand injured. It is clear that this is a huge humanitarian and climate emergency,” said Khuram Gondal, country director of Save the Children.

Al Jazeera’s Kama Hyder reported from the Charsadda district of northern Pakistan that rescue efforts were further complicated by “icy” water temperatures, with much of the floodwaters coming from mountainous areas.

“The water is gushing and engulfing the villagers, and of course that poses a serious threat,” he said. “There is a lot of material damage… People take shelter under plastic sheeting on poles. They told us that they have received help from the locals who bring them food and water. However, they say they desperately need tents and tarpaulins.”

25% underwater

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif postponed an official trip to the UK because he called for funds from friendly countries and international institutions.

Sharif visited the flood victims in the city of Jafferabad in Balochistan on Sunday. He vowed that the government would provide housing to all those who lost their homes.

Sharif delivered relief supplies to those affected in the flood-stricken province of Sindh on Saturday. He saw aid packages falling from a helicopter to the people below. Earlier on Saturday, the prime minister assessed the damage in the province and met displaced people in a relief camp.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – among other leaders – spoke with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the grim flooding situation.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his support for Pakistan. “France stands ready to help,” he said in this tweet.

The Qatar Red Crescent Society announced on Saturday the allocation of $100,000 for flood victims.

Climate Minister Rehman told Turkish news channel TRT World that by the time the rains subside, “we could have a quarter or a third of Pakistan under water”.

“This is something that is a global crisis and of course we will need better planning and sustainable development on the ground… We will need climate resilient crops as well as structures,” she said.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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