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Pakistan declares a national emergency, as 937 perish in floods

Since rain-induced floods have so far claimed the lives of 937 people, including 343 children, and left at least 30 million without shelter, the Pakistani government has declared a national emergency.

According to Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Sindh Province saw the largest number of fatalities from June 14 to Thursday, with 306 people dying as a result of floods and other weather-related accidents.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Province had 185 and 165 deaths, respectively, while Balochistan reported 234 fatalities. During the recent monsoon rains, 37 persons died in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, while nine deaths were reported in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

In contrast to the typical monthly rainfall of 48 mm, Pakistan experienced 166.8 mm of rain in August, a 241% increase. The monsoon deluge increased by 784 percent and 496 percent, respectively, in Sindh and Balochistan, the worst-affected districts.

Flash floods occurred throughout the nation as a result of the unusually high rainfall, but they were most severe in Pakistan’s south, which is still under water and has 23 Sindh districts that have been classified as “calamity-hit,” according to the newspaper.

Sherry Rehman, the minister for climate change, announced on Thursday that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established a “war room” at NDMA to oversee relief efforts nationwide. The continual “monstrous” rain, according to her, has “made it difficult to carry out relief activities, notably helicopter missions.”

During a press conference in Islamabad, the minister stated, “Pakistan is going through its eighth cycle of monsoon; generally the country only has three to four cycles of [monsoon] rain.” She was reported by the daily as stating, “Pakistan is experiencing a monsoon season that is unusual, and evidence points to the probability of the formation of another cycle in September.”

Senator Rehman warned earlier this week that the current predicament was worse than the devastation caused by the 2010 floods.

She remarked, “The water is not only streaming from the north as in 2010, but it is similarly or even more catastrophic in its sweep and destructive strength.

The senator claimed that in several parts of the nation, bridges and communication infrastructure had been destroyed by flash floods brought on by severe rainfall. Nearly 30 million people lack shelter, thousands of them have been relocated, and they lack food, she declared.

The minister emphasised the severe need for aid from international donors, stating that this was in line with the provinces’ messages.

She added that all tent manufacturers had been mobilised and that outside donors had also been contacted for tents. Balochistan had requested 100,000 tents, and Sindh had requested one million.

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