SINDH: On Thursday, a surge of water surged down the Indus River, adding to the destruction in a country where a third is already under water due to a calamity attributed to climate change. Southern Pakistan braced for further floods.
At least 1,191 people, including 399 children, have died in floods brought on by record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern Himalayas.
For assistance in addressing what it has dubbed a “unprecedented climate calamity,” the UN has made a request for $160 million.
We’re on high alert with water expected to reach the province in the next days as a result of floods in the north, the Sindh provincial government’s spokesman, Murtaza Wahab, told Reuters.
According to Wahab, the Indus is predicted to surge at a rate of about 600,000 cubic feet per second, putting its flood defences to the test.
In the three months from June to August, Pakistan experienced 390.7mm of rain, about 190% higher than the 30-year normal (15.38 inches).
The heaviest devastated region is Sindh, which has a population of 50 million and received 466% more rain than the 30-year normal.
Only sporadic patches of trees or elevated roadways can be seen in certain regions of the province, which otherwise resembles an inland sea filled with murky floodwaters.
Roads have become the only dry ground in sight for hundreds of people who have fled there.
On Thursday, villagers raced to greet a Reuters news crew travelling down a road close to the town of Dadu, pleading for food or other assistance.
Many made their way to metropolitan areas, such as the port city of Karachi, which has so far avoided floods.
The 50-year-old Allah Bakash was departing with his family and possessions loaded on a truck when he remarked, “We lost our house to the rain and floods, we’re heading to Karachi to our relatives, no one has come to rescue us.
The floods destroyed infrastructure, roads, businesses, and residences. Around two million acres (809,371 hectares) of farmland have been flooded, and standing and stored crops have been destroyed.
According to the government, 15% of the 220 million inhabitants in the country, or 33 million individuals, have been impacted.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority, 480,030 individuals have been driven from their homes and are being cared for in camps, but even those who were not forcibly removed fear danger.
The U.N. Children’s Agency stated that “more than three million children are in need of humanitarian assistance and at greater danger of waterborne infections, drowning, and starvation owing to the most catastrophic floods in Pakistan’s recent history.”
More than 6.4 million people, according to the World Health Organization, require immediate humanitarian assistance.
Aid has begun to come, mostly from China, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, aboard flights carrying food, tents, and medications.
Aid organisations have urged the government to open a mostly closed border that has served as a front line of conflict between the nuclear-armed adversaries for decades to enable food shipments from the neighbouring country of India.
The administration has not shown a desire to open the border to food imports from India.