Pakistan Armed Forces rescue 2,000 people stranded by catastrophic floods
Pakistan’s armed forces have rescued another 2,000 people stranded by rising waters, they said on Friday, in a disaster blamed on climate change that has submerged around a third of the South Asian nation and continues to grow. Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in the northern mountains caused floods that killed at least 1,208 people, including 416 children, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said.
The UN has appealed for $160 million in aid to help deal with what it called an “unprecedented climate disaster” as Pakistan’s navy deployed inland to carrying out relief operations in areas resembling a sea. In Dadu district of Sindh, one of the worst affected provinces, several villages were under 11ft (3.35m) of water, according to Bashir Khan, a local resident who is in contact with people left behind in the area.
“My house is under water, I had left my house four days ago with my family,” he told Reuters. In the nearby town of Mehar, residents were building a dyke to try to prevent floodwaters from entering the town, he said.
The navy airlifted more than 150 people from Dadu villages on Thursday, it said in a statement. On Friday, the military said it had evacuated around 50,000 people, including 1,000 by air, since relief began.
“In the past 24 hours, 1,991 stranded people have been evacuated,” the armed forces said in a statement, adding that nearly 163 tons of relief items had also been delivered to the victims. Several humanitarian relief flights are expected to arrive on Friday from Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said.
Weather officials predict more rains and flash floods in September as southern regions brace for a surge in water from the Indus River. Sindh has asked relief camps to deploy more female medics and medics, to ensure adequate care as more pregnant women and young mothers are displaced by the waters.
Pakistan received almost 190% more rain than its 30-year average in the June to August quarter, totaling 390.7 mm (15.38 inches).
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