When the Waters Come
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Pakistan’s severe rains and floods have killed more than 1,100 people, 386 of whom were children, since mid-June, which authorities have described as “unprecedented” and “the worst humanitarian disaster of this decade,” CNN reported.
Within 24 hours of Aug. 29, 119 people died and 71 people were injured in the floods.
Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan typically experiences three to four rain cycles during the monsoon. But this time, they are currently going through an eighth cycle that has one-third of Pakistan underwater.
Rehman warned that at least 33 million people – one in seven people – have been affected by the historic flooding.
Officials have established flood relief centers in different parts of the country to assist victims, as well as deployed the army to help in evacuation and aid people in flood-stricken areas.
The floods, however, restrict transportation and mobility, and with the threat of COVID-19 and sufficient damages, emergency relief work is close to impossible, especially in mountainous regions.
Since the monsoon began, nearly 1,900 miles of road, 130 bridges and 495,000 homes have been damaged. Half of the country’s cotton crop was washed away, and its vegetable, fruit and rice fields are damaged, the BBC reported.
This year’s monsoon is comparable to the terrible floods of 2010, which killed over 2,000 people and were the deadliest in Pakistan’s history.
The Pakistan government has appealed to aid agencies, friendly countries and international donors for financial help.
Still, funding and reconstruction efforts will be difficult for the cash-strapped country, which must slash spending to assure the delivery of much-needed bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund.