Islamabad: The death toll in separate accidents caused by heavy rains across Pakistan has surged to 1,000 since the start of monsoon season on June 14, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said on Saturday night.
The authority said that 1,527 people were also injured in separate incidents, whereas 949,858 houses were partially or fully destroyed in the calamity, rendering millions of people homeless in the country, which has been facing the serious impact of climate change for the last few years.
The killed included 348 children and 207 women.
South Sindh province remained the worst-hit area during the ongoing monsoon, where 347 people were killed and 1,009 others were injured in various accidents, Xinhua news agency reported quoting the NDMA.
About 3,451 km of roads, 149 bridges, and 170 shops were swept away by flash floods across the country.
An estimated 719,558 livestock perished in the rains across the country.
Rescue and relief operations by the NDMA, other government organisations, volunteers, non-government organisations, and the Pakistani army, were underway in the flood-hit areas.
According to Pakistan’s meteorological department, heavy rains will likely continue across the country during the next few days.
Road and railway traffic was badly disrupted due to heavy downpours which inundated several roads and railway tracks besides washing away scores of others.
According to officials, Balochistan lost land traffic with the rest of the country, whereas flight service was also suspended in the provincial capital of Quetta due to heavy rains.
Social media showed horrible sights of flood victims being swept away by gushing waters, and cattle, vehicles, and motorbikes being washed away in flash floods.
Muhammad Saleem, 65, a resident of a village in Shaheed Benazirabad district of Sindh said that he has never seen such a heavy downpour in the country in his entire life.
“It rained for straight 72 hours without any interruption due to which 70 percent houses in the village were destroyed and the remaining are also in bad shape. Not only this, all our crops have been washed away and not even a single strand is left in the fields,” Saleem told Xinhua.
He said that the future is also bleak for most of the people of the province as both their houses and crops have been destroyed, making it very difficult to meet ends meet in the coming days with no food and shelter.
Earlier, talking to media, the country’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said that her country is going through “a climate-induced humanitarian disaster” with unprecedented rains and floods.
Pakistan has so far received an average of 166 millimeters of rainfall in August, which is 241 percent above average, the minister said, adding that the country’s southern parts received 784 percent more than usual.
“Almost 30 million people are without shelter, thousands of them are displaced and have no food,” she said.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif asked the public to extend financial help to flood victims by generously donating to his flood relief fund. He also appealed to the international community to help the country cope with the losses and rehabilitate the victims.
During a visit to a flood-hit area of Sindh on Saturday, Shahbaz said that the government has allocated 38 billion Pakistani rupees (about 171.6 million U.S. dollars) to provide relief to flood victims, and 25,000 rupees (about 112.9 U.S. dollars) in cash will also be provided to each affected family to meet the basic needs for survival.