A third of Pakistan is under water, the floods have already killed over 1,200 people

A third of Pakistan is under water, the floods have already killed over 1,200 people
A third of Pakistan is under water, the floods have already killed over 1,200 people

The province of Sindh is among the areas that were most affected by the floods. In addition, in the past week, downpours again caused flooding of the Indus River, which flows through Pakistan from north to south and flows into the Arabian Sea.

A flood wave is now approaching major cities of Sindh province, Pakistan’s disaster management agency has warned. Military helicopters and boats went to the area to help. “It’s a race against time,” warned provincial government spokesman Murtáza Vaháb.

Pakistan experienced 190 percent more rainfall this quarter than the 30-year average. Torrential rains, which came already in June, washed away roads, bridges, a million houses and crops from the fields. The floods affected over 33 million people, i.e. over 15 percent of the population.

The floods are the “biggest in Pakistan’s history,” Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday. “The damage to our infrastructure is extensive and spread across Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by AFP.

According to the BBC, climate minister Sherry Rehman said “everything is like one big ocean now”. “There is not a piece of dry land to start pumping water (from flooded areas),” she said, calling it a “crisis of unimaginable proportions”.

“Literally one-third of Pakistan is under water now, which has exceeded all limits, all norms that we have seen in the past,” she added.

In addition, officials fear that diseases will start to spread among people due to contaminated water. The doctors said that at first, mostly patients with flood traumas came to see them. But now they treat people suffering from diarrheal diseases, skin infections and other water-borne diseases.

The government is therefore trying to send additional medical teams and supplies of medicine to the affected areas, along with providing drinking water to the survivors, who are living densely in tents and makeshift shelters.

Rescuers can’t catch up, they have few ships

But many Pakistanis complain that the government and regional politicians are not doing enough. “Over twenty surrounding villages have been dealing with floods for days, but the authorities have told us that they don’t have enough boats to rescue citizens,” 60-year-old Razzak Shahid from the state of Punjab told Deutsche Welle.

According to him, when people alerted the rescuers that the bodies of deceased people were floating in the water, they learned that the security forces did not even have the capacity to rescue the survivors, let alone to remove the corpses. Pakistanis vented their anger at the government’s alleged inaction, for example, on one of the Punjabi ministers, who hastily ended his visit to the region and fled the scene.

“My hometown has been without electricity for five days. People need camps, medicine, food, mosquito nets, pumps and other things. None of that was available,” added Shahid.

The United Nations (UN) called the situation an “unprecedented climate disaster” and called on its members to allocate up to 160 million dollars (3.9 billion crowns) in financial support.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the humanitarian situation could further deteriorate in the country in the coming days and weeks as more heavy rainfall is expected in regions still under water. Millions of children and hundreds of thousands of pregnant women are at risk, UNICEF said.

On the night of Friday in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, other planes with food, medicine and tents landed, including the ninth flight from the United Arab Emirates and the first from Uzbekistan, the AP reported.

China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have also provided humanitarian support in recent days. The United States has announced that it is ready to provide $30 million in aid to people affected by the disaster.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Pakistan water floods killed people

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