Floods wreak untold havoc as death toll tops 900

Minister says 326 children among dead; NDMA reports 3m people affected

Our Correspondent August 25, 2022
Flood affected people. PHOTO: APP


The recent heavy monsoon rains and subsequent floods killed more than 900 people and injured nearly 1,300 others, creating a “humanitarian crisis” in the country, Climate-Change Minister Sherry Rehman revealed on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets, Rehman said that heart-wrenching scenes of devastation were emerging from the affected areas, as thousands of people had been displaced because of the floods, adding that thousands of people were still trapped in floodwater and waiting for rescue and relief.

“Due to record rains, a humanitarian crisis has arisen across the country,” she said in one of her tweets. “We have to deal with and overcome the humanitarian crisis as a nation, not separately. This is the time to unite, not divide.”

Rehman said that since June, 903 people, including 326 children and 191 women, died in various incidents of monsoon rains and floods. She added that 1,293 people were injured. The data shared by the minister suggested that most of the deaths and injuries occurred in Sindh and Balochistan.

She assured that the government was utilising all available resources to help the flood victims but said that authorities needed more resources to deal with the catastrophe. He underscored the need for mobilising “partners and donors at the national and international levels” to meet the shortfall in resources.

Meanwhile, the government issued an appeal to the nation to donate money to the Prime Minister Relief Fund. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said that overseas Pakistanis could also send donations through wire transfers, money service bureaus, money transfer operators and exchange houses.

The data shared by Rehman update on a report released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) which said that 3 million people across 116 out of 160 districts of the country were affected because of the devastating rains.

The report about the losses of lives and properties in rains and floods said that 830 people had died, 413,000 houses were damaged, crops over 2 million acres were destroyed, 707,000 cattle perished, and 2,886 kilometres of highways and 129 bridges were totally or partially damaged.

The nationwide death toll include 313 children and 180 women, the report said. The NDMA added 239 people died in Sindh, 225 in Balochistan, 168 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) while 151 deaths were reported in Punjab.

Read PMD predicts more rain across country, warns of urban flooding

The report further said that 1.914 million people were affected in Sindh, 674,000 in Punjab, 360,000 in Balochistan and 50,000 in K-P. Extensive rain-related damage had been reported from 33 districts of K-P, 17 of Sindh, 34 of Balochistan, 16 of Punjab, 10 of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 6 of Gilgit-Baltistan.

This year, the monsoon rains broke the record of 30 years. Against the average annual rainfall during the last three decades – 128 millimetres– this year the country received 340 mm of rain. The NDMA said this monsoon brought 166% more rains than the 30-year average.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told a press conference in Karachi that more than 10 million people had been rendered homeless, and over 1.5 million mud houses had been destroyed in the province. “I have never seen a greater catastrophe in my life,” he said.

Pakistan is currently in the grip of a severe monsoon system that has caused heavy rains and catastrophic flooding. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) forecast heavy to very heavy rainfall in many parts of the country from August 23 to 26.

In Sindh, the monsoon rains and the entailing devastation continued on Wednesday at least 16 more people, including children reportedly died in several districts due to drowning and wall and roof collapses. A lightning strike in Nangarparkar taluka of Tharparkar also killed 16 goats.

And in K-P, five students between the ages of 6-9 were washed away by a flash flood in Barawel area of the Upper Dir district. Another child drowned in Swat after a cloud burst was reported in the area, inundating several parts of the district, including the main town of Mingora.

In Punjab, the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said that 99 relief camps had been set up for flood victims in the province. It added that 38,143 people were rescued from the flooded areas. It added that the process of food delivery to the flood victims by helicopter in remote areas was under way.

A PDMA spokesperson that the process of providing three meals a day to the flood victims and other necessary facilities including clean water is under way, adding that dry rations for one month had been distributed to 39,437 households so far.

The NDMA said that its teams along with troops of army, navy and air force had been deployed in flood-affected areas across the country to rescue people. A spokesperson of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said that the operation to help the flood victims in southern Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh was continuing.

The spokesperson said that PAF emergency response teams were distributing prepared food, ration and other essential items to flood victims, while free round-the-clock treatment and medicines were being provided in the field medical camps of the PAF.


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