Floods in Pakistan have killed over 1,000 people since mid-June, Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority said in a release on Monday. It said that over 1,600 people had been injured by the floods.
Flash floods have been wreaking havoc in Pakistan with rescue efforts also hampered because of the severity of the situation and rescue sorties being unable to land because of a lack of dry land.
Hundreds of villages have been washed away and rescue workers have been carrying on evacuation.
According to Sherry Rahman, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Climate Change, Pakistan was facing a climate catastrophe and was struggling to meet the expenses to tackle the floods.
Rahman said that Pakistan was facing the brunt for the emissions of richer countries. She told Sky News, "We are home to the largest number of glaciers outside the polar region, and this year we saw three times as many glacial lake outburst floods as normal. We're negligible carbon emittors but facing the brunt of richer countries GHG emissions."
Rehman tweeted late on Monday saying while crops had been washed away and houses had been destroyed, there was no place to pump away the water sinceit was flooded everywhere. "Most of Sindh is under water. The crops are gone, lives ruined, livelihoods wiped out, roads swept away, and houses destroyed or barely standing. The Navy is also deployed in inland Sindh and Balochistan. Where to pump/drain the water? There's water everywhere. "
Incessant rains for weeks
Rainfall did not abate in Pakistan in the last few days, as authorities struggled to even carry out rescue operations. Rahman told DW news in a video interview, "We're now in our eighth week". She said many districts were beginning to look like a part of the ocean.
"Our helicopter sorties are not finding dry land to drop ration, essential services. People are marooned on parts of dry ground. We've had to deploy the navy for the first time..." she said.
The Associate Press reported that overnight flooding of the Swat River led to flooding in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. This affected people in the Charsadda and Nowshehra. Around 180,000 and 150,000 people have been rescued from these areas respectively.
Rising costs of damage
With one-third of the country under water, Pakistan also faces the massive task of rehabilitating people and rebuilding after the floods recede. Dawn newspaper reported that Pakistan prime minister Shehbaz Sharif announced 45 US dollars for Balochistan. Each family affected in the region will be given around 112 US dollars as relief.
Pakistan was already reeling under an economic crisis when the floods hit, affecting over 30 million people in the country. The government estimates that damage of more the 10 million US dollars had been done by the floods.
Pakistan's planning and development minister Ahsan Iqbal told Reuters, "I think it is going to be huge. So far, (a) very early, preliminary estimate is that it is big, it is higher than $10 billion."
He said at least one million homes had been destroyed.
Help pours in
Several countries extended condolences to Pakistan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Tuesday saying, "Saddened to see the devastation caused by the floods in Pakistan. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, the injured and all those affected by this natural calamity and hope for an early restoration of normalcy."
Countries like Turkey, Iran, the UAE and UK have reportedly offered financial assistance. "Planes have departed Turkey today and are about to reach Karachi. A plane from UAE will reach Islamabad. Other friendly countries are also sending messages. The British government announced 1.5 million pounds. We are thankful to them for sending aid to Pakistanis in this difficult time," Sharif was quoted by Dawn as saying on Monday.
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