Disasters & Accidents

Pakistan accelerates evacuations as water surges in largest lake

Islamabad, Sep 5 (EFE).- Evacuation efforts in Pakistan continued apace Monday near Lake Manchar, the country’s largest, amid rising water levels due to incessant flooding which has caused more than 1,300 deaths – a third of them children – since mid-June.

The breaching on Sunday of a dam to reduce the water pressure in Manchar Lake, in the southern province of Sindh, caused an overflow that destroyed “40,000 houses, large and small” in at least five towns, the deputy district commissioner of Jamshoro, Farid-Uddin-Mustafa, told Efe.

The official said some 80,000 people in the province have been displaced as a result of the breach, which was carried out to protect the towns of Sehwan and Dadu from rising water.

“I have appealed to the people who are still in those areas that could be affected to leave immediately,” as the water continues to rise and there is a possibility that more dams may be breached to redirect excess water to other rivers, the commissioner warned.

Most areas in Sindh, one of the provinces worst affected by the floods that have hit the country since mid-June, are under water.

In the last 24 hours, at least 11 people, including eight children, have died in the country as a result of the heavy floods, which have already claimed the lives of more than 1,300 people and injured some 12,700 since the monsoon season began in mid-June, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

The country has received a total of 41 aircraft, five of them today, with humanitarian assistance items and supplies to help the more than 33 million people who have been affected by the rains, the worst recorded in the last three decades. Nearly 637,000 people are staying in camps or shelters.

The United Nations issued a global emergency relief appeal for Pakistan for $160 million early last week, although the government estimates that the floods have caused $10 billion worth of damage.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who spearheaded the appeal for Pakistan, will travel to the country this week given the “tragic situation facing millions of men, women, and children impacted by historic floods.” EFE


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