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Pakistan floods have killed 1,400, displaced 33 million. The nightmare is far from over

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraSep 13, 2022 | 12:48

Pakistan floods have killed 1,400, displaced 33 million. The nightmare is far from over

People gather in front of a road damaged by flood waters in Madian area in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley. (AFP Photo)

The devastating floods in Pakistan have killed over 1,400 and affected over 33 million, as a third of the country is still under water. Pakistan estimates the damages to be at $30bn (over 23 lakh crore) and the UN chief Antonio Guterres has called for 'massive financial support' from the world.

Authorities in the country are trying their best to protect a vital power station supplying electricity to millions. The power station in Dadu district of Sindh province can get flooded, reported Reuters.

Pakistan has launched a 'Digital Flood Dashboard' to ensure transparency in the allocation of funds and to keep the nation informed about the rescue and relief activities, reported The Dawn.

 

Death and destruction: Over 1,400 people have been killed, while the total number of injured stood over 12,700 due the severe rains and flooding in the country.

According to the National Disaster Management Authority's (NDMA) latest report, the cumulative number of homes damaged by flooding was over 1.7 million, while over 6,600kms of roads and 269 bridges had been damaged, reported The Dawn.

Men paddle on makeshift rafts as they cross a flooded street in Hyderabad, Pakistan. (Photo: Reuters)

The National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC) of Pakistan said that at least one-third of Pakistan was inundated and that a total of 81 districts (32 in Balochistan, 23 in Sindh and 17 in KP) remained categorised as 'calamity-hit', reported The Dawn.

Pakistan faces food shortages: The massive floods in Pakistan has led to food shortages in the country. Pakistan Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to thank Turkey for dispatching food and other essentials and asked him for further help them overcome the food shortages in the country.

The International Rescue Committee estimated that the floods have damaged more than 3.6 million acres of crops in Pakistan, reported AP.

UN chief visits Pakistan: United Nations' Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was on a 2-day trip to Pakistan, visited several areas ravaged by floods. "Pakistan needs massive financial support. This is not a matter of generosity; it is a matter of justice," he said.

Guterres said that the world needed to understand the impact of climate breakdown on low-income countries. "Nature strikes back in Sindh, but it was not Sindh that has made the emissions of greenhouse gases that have accelerated climate change so dramatically. There is a very unfair situation relative to the level of destruction," Reuters quoted him as saying.

Floods to hit Pakistan's GDP: Pakistan expects to cut its GDP growth projection for the financial year 2022-23 from 5 per cent to 3 per cent due to losses from the unprecedented rains and floods, country's Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said.

Victims of heavy flooding receive relief aid in Quetta, Pakistan. (AP Photo)

What caused these devastating floods: In May, temperatures higher than 50 degrees Celsius were recorded in places like Jacobabad and Dadu and above 45 degrees Celsius in many other parts of Pakistan. Warmer air holds more moisture and that eventually comes down, in this case in torrents, reported AP.

The intense heat also melted glaciers in the northern mountainous regions, increasing the amount of water flowing into tributaries that eventually make their way into the Indus river, Athar Hussain, a climate scientist at COMSATS University Islamabad, told scientific journal Nature.

Last updated: September 13, 2022 | 12:48
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