One third of Pakistan under water, more than 1,130 dead
Sylvie Claire / August 30, 2022
Tens of millions of Pakistanis were struggling Monday with the worst monsoon rains in three decades, which have killed at least 1,136 people, washed away countless homes and destroyed vital farmland.
A third of Pakistan is now under water, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman said, referring to a crisis of unimaginable proportions.
The monsoon rains, which began in June, are unprecedented in 30 years, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Monday as he toured the affected areas of the north.
A huge relief operation was underway in Pakistan, where international aid was slowly starting to arrive, while the Indus, its main river, threatened to burst its banks.
Pakistani officials attribute the devastating weather to climate change, saying their country is suffering the consequences of irresponsible environmental practices elsewhere in the world.
More than 33 million people, or one in seven Pakistanis, have been affected by the floods and nearly one million homes have been destroyed or severely damaged, the government said.
The latest death toll from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Monday was 1,136 since the monsoon began in June, including 75 in the past 24 hours.
But authorities were still trying to reach remote villages in northern mountainous areas, which could add to the toll.
It's all one big ocean, there's no dry place to pump water from, Rehman noted, adding that the economic cost, which has yet to be quantified, would be devastating.
The monsoon, which usually lasts from June to September, is essential for irrigating plantations and replenishing water resources in the Indian subcontinent. But every year it also brings its share of drama and destruction.