Flood Havoc: Pakistan Declares National Emergency
The Pakistani government has declared a ‘national emergency’ in light of the rain-induced floods that have so far killed 937 people and left at least 30 million without shelter. As per National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) data, Sindh has reported the highest number of deaths—306 people have lost their lives due to floods and rain-related incidents from June 14 to date. Balochistan reported 234 deaths whereas Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab recorded 185 and 165 deaths, respectively. According to NDMA, Pakistan received 166.8mm of rain in August, as opposed to the average of 48mm—an increase of 241 per cent. Sindh and Balochistan—the worst-hit regions—witnessed a 784 per cent and 496 per cent increase in the monsoon deluge, respectively, reports Dawn. The abnormal increase in rainfall triggered flash floods across the country, particularly in the south, with 23 districts of Sindh being declared “calamity-hit”. Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman said a “war room” has been established by the prime minister at NDMA, which would spearhead relief operations across the country. “Pakistan is going through its 8th cycle of monsoon; normally the country has only three to four cycles of [monsoon] rain,” the minister said. The government says at least Rs 72.36 billion is required to provide immediate relief to the flood-hit people.