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Pakistan flood deaths surpass 1,000 in ‘climate catastrophe’

The death toll from widespread flooding in Pakistan has topped 1,000 since mid-June, officials said on Sunday as the country’s climate minister called the deadly monsoon season a “serious climate disaster.” rice field.

Heavy rain flash floods washed away villages and crops, and soldiers and rescue workers evacuated stranded residents to safety in relief camps, providing food to thousands of displaced Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency has reported that the death toll has reached 1,033 since the monsoon season began earlier than usual this year.

In a video posted to Twitter, Pakistan’s senator and the country’s top climate officer, Sherry Lehman, said Pakistan was “a severe climate disaster and one of the most difficult of the decade”. ‘, he said.

“We are now at the forefront of extreme weather events, with heat waves, wildfires, flash floods, glacial lake outbursts and a constant cascade of floods. The monsoon is raging.-Stop the havoc across the country,” she said. The statement, caught on camera, was retweeted by the Ambassador to the European Union.

Flooding from the Swat River affected northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province during the night. Tens of thousands of people fled from their homes to relief camps set up in government buildings, especially in Charzada and Nowshera districts. Kamran Bangash, a spokesperson for the state government, said many people had taken refuge on the roadside.

Bangash said about 180,000 people had been displaced from Charsada and 150,000 from villages in Nowshera district.

Khaista Rehman, 55, who has no connection to the climate minister, took refuge on the side of the Islamabad-Peshawar highway with his wife and three children after his home in Charsadda was submerged overnight.

“Thank God, we are safe now on this road, which is quite high from the flooded area,” he said. “Our crops are gone, our homes destroyed, but we thank Allah that we are alive and resume life with His sons.”

An unprecedented monsoon season has affected all four states of the country. Nearly 300,000 homes have been destroyed, many roads have been impassable, and widespread power outages have affected millions of people.

Pope Francis said on Sunday that he wanted to guarantee “closeness to the people of Pakistan hit by floods of devastating magnitude”. He said he prayed “for the many victims, wounded and displaced, and that international solidarity will be swift and generous.”

“A quarter or a third of Pakistan could be under water” by the time the rains stop, Rehman told Turkish news agency TRT World.

“This is a global crisis and of course we need better planning and sustainable development. …We will need climate-resilient crops and buildings,” she said.

In May, Lehmann told BBC Newshour that rising temperatures were creating extreme weather in both the north and south. It happens a lot because Pakistan has the most glaciers outside the polar regions.”

The government has deployed soldiers to assist civilian authorities in rescue and relief efforts across the country. The Pakistani military said in a statement that it had airlifted his 22 tourists, who were trapped in a valley in the north of the country, to safety.

Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif visited flood victims in Jafferabad city, Balochistan province. He vowed that the government would provide housing for all who were left homeless.

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Associated Press writers Riaz Khan of Peshawar, Asim Tanvir of Multan, Pakistan and Francis Demilio of Rome contributed.

Zarah Khan, The Associated Press

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Pakistan flood deaths surpass 1,000 in ‘climate catastrophe’

Source link Pakistan flood deaths surpass 1,000 in ‘climate catastrophe’

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