At least 33 million people have been affected by
deadly flooding in Pakistan, the country's climate
change minister said on Thursday. Since mid-June,
937 people have died from severe rain and flooding across
the South Asian country, according to the country's
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).Sherry
Rehman, the minister for climate change, called the floods "unprecedented"
and "the worst humanitarian disaster of this
"Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoon
while normally the country has only three to four cycles of
rain," Rehman said. "The percentages of super flood torrents
are shocking."She highlighted in particular the impact on
the south of the country, adding that "maximum" relief
efforts are underway.
On August 24, Pakistan's Prime Minister Sharif briefed
international diplomats on the crisis, stating that his
country -- on the frontline of climate change despite a
relatively small carbon footprint -- must focus its
rehabilitation toward greater climate change resilience.
Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal separately
told Reuters that 30 million people had been affected, a
figure that would represent about 15% of the South Asian country's population.
UN agency Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) said in an update on Thursday that the monsoon rains had
affected some 3 million people in Pakistan of which 184,000
have been displaced to relief camps across the country.
Funding and reconstruction efforts will be a challenge for
cash-strapped Pakistan, which is having to cut spending to
ensure that the International Monetary Fund approves the
release of much-needed bailout money.
The NDMA said in a report that in the past 24 hours,
150 kilometers (about 93 miles) of roads had been damaged
across the country and more than 82,000 homes partially or fully damaged.
Since mid-June, when the monsoon began, more than 3,000
kilometers (1,864 miles) of road, 130 bridges and 495,000
homes have been damaged, according to NDMA's last situation
report, figures also echoed in the OHCA report.
A vast majority of this damage is in Sindh. OCHA also warned
that alerts had been issued for floods, river overflows,
and landslides in several areas of Pakistan, and heavy
rainfall was forecast for the next two days, too, over most
of the country.
Rehman said Sindh has received 784% more rainfall this month
than the August average, with 23 districts declared calamity-hit.
Another of the hardest-hit areas has been in nearby Balochistan,
with the province's capital city Quetta largely cut off from
electricity, gas, and the internet.
Almost 500% more rainfall had fallen in the province, Rehman
added, leading to electricity and gas services being suspended
in most areas of Quetta since Thursday morning, according to
the Provincial Disaster Management Authority.
Severe disruption to cell, internet, and landline phone services
in the city have caused problems to rescue operations, leading
the Balochistan government to request the Pakistan army's help
in rescue efforts.
Provided by the IKCEST Disaster Risk Reduction Knowledge Service System