Pakistan declares national emergency as 937 people die in floods

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According to the NDMA, Pakistan received 166.8mm of rain in August.

Islamabad:

The Pakistani government has declared a national emergency as rain-triggered floods have so far killed 937 people, including 343 children, and left at least 30 million people homeless.

Sindh province reported the highest death toll with 306 people losing their lives due to floods and rain-related incidents from June 14 to Thursday, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). from the country.

Balochistan has reported 234 deaths while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab province have recorded 185 and 165 deaths respectively. In Pakistani-occupied Kashmir, 37 people have been killed while nine deaths have been reported in Gilgit-Baltistan region during the current monsoon rains.

According to the NDMA, Pakistan received 166.8mm of rain in August, compared to an average of 48mm, an increase of 241%. Sindh and Balochistan – the worst affected regions – saw a 784% and 496% increase in the monsoon deluge respectively, Dawn News reported.

The abnormal increase in rainfall has generated flash flooding across the country, especially in the southern part of Pakistan, which remains flooded at the moment, with 23 districts in Sindh declared “disaster”, the newspaper reported.

Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said on Thursday that a “war room” had been set up by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif at the NDMA, which would lead relief operations across the country. She said the incessant “monstrous” rains had “made it difficult to carry out relief operations, especially helicopter sorties”.

“Pakistan is going through its 8th monsoon cycle; normally the country only has three to four monsoon cycles. [monsoon] rain,” the minister told a press conference in Islamabad. “Pakistan is under an unprecedented monsoon period and the data suggests the possibility of a re-emergence of another cycle in September,” she said. she said on a daily basis.

Senator Rehman, who compared the current situation with the devastating 2010 floods earlier this week, said the current situation was worse than that.

“The water is not just flowing from the north like it was in 2010, but is equally or more devastating in its sweeping and destructive power,” she added.

According to the senator, flash floods caused by heavy rains washed away bridges and communications infrastructure in various parts of the country. “Nearly 30 million people are homeless, thousands of them are displaced and have no food,” she said.

Highlighting the need for relief from international donors, the minister said the need for shelter and relief was dire according to what the provinces had conveyed.

Sindh has requested one million tents and Balochistan has requested 100,000 tents, she said, adding that all tent makers have been mobilized and external donors have also been approached for tents.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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