More than 1,000 dead in monsoon floods in Pakistan

The flood disaster in Pakistan is becoming increasingly devastating. The country’s civil protection agency announced on Sunday that within 24 hours alone, another 119 people had died as a result of the monsoon-triggered floods. The government declared a state of emergency and mobilized the military.

Climate Protection Minister Sherry Rehman spoke of a “disaster of epic proportions”. According to the civil protection agency, a total of 1,033 people have died as a result of the flooding since the beginning of the monsoon season in June. On Saturday, the authorities ordered the evacuation of thousands of people in the north of the country.

Pope Francis appeals to the international community

On Sunday, army helicopters and rescue workers were still busy bringing residents to safety. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif canceled a trip to the UK to oversee the relief effort. “One village after another was wiped out; Millions of homes have been destroyed – the destruction is immense,” Sharif said after flying over southern Sindh province in a helicopter.

A man walks through the rubble of his collapsed mud house in Jaffarabad.

Pope Francis appealed to the international community to help Pakistan. During his visit to the Italian city of L’Alquila, which was severely damaged by an earthquake in 2009, he called for “immediate and generous international solidarity” with Pakistan. Numerous buildings were destroyed in the flooded area in northern Pakistan – a scenic tourist destination with rugged mountains and valleys.

Tens of thousands are looking for shelter on highways and railway tracks

Among them was a 150-room hotel that fell into a torrent. Guest house owner Nasir Khan said he lost everything. His small hotel had already been badly hit by the 2010 floods. Now the flood has “washed away the rest,” he told AFP.

The southern province of Sindh was also hit by severe flooding on Saturday and braced for new flood masses. Authorities warned that the situation could worsen for millions of people in the region. Tens of thousands of people sought shelter on highways and train tracks. The elevated roads and railway tracks are among the few areas that are not under water.

Almost a million homes were destroyed or badly damaged

The floods in Pakistan caused by the monsoon this year have affected more than 33 million people, or one in seven people in the South Asian country, according to the authorities. Almost a million homes were reportedly destroyed or badly damaged.

The annual monsoon, with its immense rainfall, usually lasts from June to September. It plays an extremely important role for agriculture and water supplies, but it also causes devastating floods again and again. The worst floods in Pakistan’s recent history occurred in 2010. At that time, around a fifth of the country was flooded and around 2,000 people lost their lives. About 20 million were left homeless.

Pakistan is particularly vulnerable to climate change. According to the German development and environmental organization Germanwatch, it is the eighth country most threatened by extreme weather events. (afp)


Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by www.ksta.de.

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