Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Pakistan flood toll crosses 1,000

The casualties from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).
It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.
The new death toll came a day after the prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, asked for international help in battling deadly flood damage. More than 33 million people have been displaced.
The authority’s report the previous day said 45 people were killed in flood-related incidents from Friday to Saturday.
Many parts of Pakistan have become inaccessible, and rescuers are struggling to evacuate thousands of marooned people from flood-affected areas. Balochistan and Sindh provinces are the worst-affected areas.
Local media reported late on Saturday that the Kach dam near Ziarat city, 80 miles from Quetta, Balochistan’s capital, had broken due to heavy flooding – putting lives of local residents at risk. Other dams in the area have also reportedly been damaged.
There were also reports that protesters had blocked the Indus Highway, the only safe passage between Hyderabad and Karachi and northern Sindh and the rest of Pakistan at Naseerabad. The protesters claim the local lawmakers have endangered the population by diverting floodwater.
The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.
Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.
The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometres (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.