Tuesday, August 30: Since the start of the monsoon in June, the death toll related to rains, downpours and embankment failures in Pakistan has exceeded 1,100. Of those deaths, approximately 120 occurred in the last 24 hours.
Among the affected areas, Sindh remains the worst affected with more than 74 deaths, followed by 31 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, six in Gilgit Baltistan and four in Balochistan. According to the latest report from the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), at least 32 children, 56 men and nine women have died in the ongoing flooding.
The Indus River that flows through Pakistan remains at a high level of flood risk, and the country is unlikely to get a reprieve from the torrential rains any time soon.
The devastating floods alone have caused a loss of at least $10 billion, adding to the existing economic crisis in Pakistan. So far, the rains and floods have killed and injured thousands, displaced at least 498,000 to relief camps and killed at least 719,558 head of livestock.
In addition, some 992,871 houses, 3,451 km of roads, 149 bridges and 170 businesses were destroyed by the rains. According to the country’s Finance Minister, Miftah Ismail, all the details of the economic losses in the sector are not yet known.
Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani senator and the country’s climate minister, has described the country’s current situation as a “major climate catastrophe”.
“Right now we are at ground zero of the front line of extreme weather events, in a relentless cascade of heat waves, wildfires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outbursts, flooding and now the monster monsoon of the decade is causing -stop the chaos across the country,” Rehman said.
With nearly a third of the country still under water and the situation worsening, the Pakistani government has called for international help.
India, other countries extend a helping hand
On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his “heartfelt condolences” to the affected families.
“Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and look forward to a speedy restoration of normality,” he tweeted.
Furthermore, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail announced that his government is considering importing foods such as onions and tomatoes from India, despite the trade ban evoked in 2019 after the special status given to Jammu & Kashmir in Article 370. .
India has previously provided similar assistance to Pakistan, particularly after the 2005 earthquake and during the 2010 floods.
Meanwhile, several countries, including the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, have also extended their support through monetary and relief contributions.
The first flight from the United Arab Emirates carried more than 3,000 tons of relief items, and at least 15 more planes are due to land in the country in the coming days.
Similarly, the Turkish Red Crescent Society has contributed Rs 16,000, 300 kits, 600 jerrycans and 1,500 mosquito nets to 300 families in Jafferabad. The Turkish government has also sent 100 tents and 1,000 blankets.
Also, Qatar Charity is providing shelter to disadvantaged communities in Balochistan in collaboration with the Provincial Disaster Management Authority.
The Canadian government has also allocated $20,000 for flood relief operations, Canadian International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said.
Despite the large-scale aid, more funds are required, Pakistani officials said.
In addition to monetary contributions, Queen Elizabeth has also offered her condolences to Pakistan, stating that the UK stands in solidarity with the country. British Prime Minister Johnson Boris has expressed similar sentiments about the state of the country.
(With input from the Times of India and IANS)
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