Estimated reading time 3 minutes 3 Min

Pakistan floods death toll at 1343

Flood waters cover as much as a third of Pakistan following record monsoon rains and glacier melts, with the death toll put at 1343.

September 7, 2022
By Syed Raza Hassan and Asif Shahzad
7 September 2022

Parts of Pakistan seem “like a sea”, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif says, after visiting some of the flood-hit areas that cover as much as a third of the South Asian nation, where 18 more deaths took the toll from days of rain to 1343.

As many as 33 million of a population of 220 million have been affected in a disaster blamed on climate change that has left hundreds of thousands homeless and caused losses of at least $US10 billion ($A14.8 billion), officials estimate.

“You wouldn’t believe the scale of destruction there,” Sharif told media after a visit to the southern province of Sindh. “It is water everywhere as far as you could see. It is just like a sea.”

The government, which has boosted cash handouts for flood victims, will buy 200,000 tents to house displaced families, he added.

Receding waters threaten a new challenge in the form of water-borne infectious diseases, Sharif said.

“We will need trillions of rupees to cope with this calamity.”

Victims of the unprecedented flooding from monsoon rains take refuge in Jaffarabad, a district of Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

The United Nations has called for $US160 million in aid to help the flood victims.

Many of those affected are from Sindh, where Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake is dangerously close to bursting its banks, even after having been breached in an operation that displaced 100,000 people.

National disaster officials said eight children were among the dead in the last 24 hours. The floods were brought by record monsoon rains and glacier melt in Pakistan’s northern mountains.

With more rain expected in the coming month, the situation could worsen further, a top official of the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned.

Already, the World Health Organization has said more than 6.4 million people need humanitarian support in the flooded areas.

The raging waters have swept away 1.6 million houses, 5735 km of transport links, 750,000 head of livestock, and swamped more than two million acres of farmland.

Pakistan has received nearly 190 per cent more rain than the 30-year average in July and August, totalling 391mm, with Sindh getting 466 per cent more rain than the average.

As well, famed archaeological site Mohenjo Daro dating back 4,500 years and located in southern Sindh province near the Indus River – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is under threat.

More in The Planet