A horrific video has been circulating on social media showing five men, said to have been brothers, stranded atop a boulder in the middle of a flash flood as the water slowly envelops the area around them. Many were sharing and reposting this on their accounts, pleading to the authorities to send in a rescue team. This was soon followed by the news that all five were swept away after waiting for four long hours.
Nothing can justify the fact that despite social media coverage and a significant amount of time at hand, officials failed to send in so much as a rescue helicopter to save innocent lives staring death in the face. Instead, rescue helicopters are generally seen busy taking care of “more important” things: ferrying dignitaries from their official to private residences; transporting their food from their homes; drying cricket pitches after rains; and stuff. The average tax-paying citizen is not considered important enough to save. There is no clear example of the fact that resources are controlled by the elite who, during such catastrophe, use it for their own needs while risking the lives of millions. It is all the more distressing to see politicians resorting to a few ration packages and posting videos on social media for their self-image instead of initiating wide-scale rescue measures.
The sad reality is that none are in place and leaders are incapable of charting out a cohesive plan. In the end, it is the people who are seen united, setting up funds, sending food, water and shelter, and travelling to affected areas to provide relief. Disaster authorities have cautioned that many other areas might soon suffer the same fate. Therefore, wide-scale evacuation must be initiated and rescue resources should be focused on saving lives. We must adopt a precautionary instead of a reactionary approach.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 28th, 2022.
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