“Monsoon monster of the decade” in Pakistan: More than 1060 dead and 33 million people affected


Pakistan has declared a state of emergency and called for help from the international community as the monsoon has claimed more than 1060 lives since June.

In Pakistan, floods caused by monsoon rains have killed at least 1 people since June, according to the latest report from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). A toll that could increase because villages located in mountainous areas in the north of the country are still isolated.

One in seven Pakistanis, or more than 33 million people, are affected. Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman calls it "monsoon monsoon of the decade". Pakistani officials attribute the devastating weather to climate change, saying Pakistan is suffering the consequences of irresponsible environmental practices elsewhere in the world.

The damage is considerable. The government reports more than a million homes destroyed or badly damaged. More than 80000 hectares of cultivable land were ravaged, more than 3 kilometers of roads and 400 bridges were washed away. The Indus now threatens to burst its banks, fed by the waters of dozens of mountain rivers and streams in the north, in spate due to record rains and melting glaciers.

Most of Sindh province is under water. Near Sukkur, where a massive colonial-era dam on the Indus River is vital to prevent the disaster from getting any worse, a farmer lamented seeing his rice fields lost.

"Our plantations stretched over 2 hectares, on which the best quality rice was sown and eaten by you and us," Khalil Ahmed, 000, told AFP before adding, "It's all finished ".

Greg Kelley, of World mission, a Christian organization that distributes audio Bibles to people not reached by the Gospel, explains that the pastors and partners with whom they are in contact speak of 40 days of rain without interruption. He evokes the destruction of the roads, the loss of the cattle, the fields and the washed away farms. "When it's someone's only source of substance, whether it's raising their animals or farming, it's devastating," he laments.

A state of emergency was declared by the government, which also appealed for help from the international community. On Sunday, the first flights bringing humanitarian aid arrived, from Turkey or the United Arab Emirates.

MC (With AFP)

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