Pakistan: Tens Of Millions Battle Floods As Death Toll Rises
Tens of millions of people across swathes of Pakistan were Monday battling the worst monsoon floods in a decade, with countless homes washed away, vital farmland destroyed, and the country’s main river threatening to burst its banks. Officials say 1,061 people have died since June when the seasonal rains began, but
the final toll could be higher as hundreds of villages in the mountainous north have been cut off after flood-swollen rivers washed away roads and bridges. The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but it can also bring destruction.
This year’s flooding has affected more than 33 million people one in seven Pakistanis — said to the National Disaster Management Authority. “What we see now is an ocean of water submerging entire districts,” Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said. “This is very far from a normal monsoon it
is climate dystopia at our doorstep.” This year’s floods are comparable to those of 2010.,the worst on record when more than 2,000 people died and nearly a fifth of the country was under water. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, on a tour of the north to oversee relief operations, said the monsoon rains were
“unprecedented in the last 30 years”. Near Sukkur, a city in southern Sindh province and home to an ageing colonial-era barrage on the Indus River that is vital to preventing further catastrophe, one farmer lamented the devastation wrought on his rice fields. Millions of acres of rich farmland have been flooded by weeks of
non-stop rain, but now the Indus is threatening to burst its banks as torrents of water course downstream from tributaries in the north. “Our crop spanned over 5,000 acres on which the best quality rice was sown and is eaten by you and us,” Khalil Ahmed, 70, “All that is finished.” he added.