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    Floods Batter Pakistan; Over 50 Dead

    EnvironmentClimate changeFloods Batter Pakistan; Over 50 Dead
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    Floods Batter Pakistan; Over 50 Dead

    Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority is planning for the distribution of relief, but the logistics of reaching relief is a challenge as many roads leading to interior parts of the country have been damaged or even washed out.

    Pakistan continues to receive heavy rain and resulting floods have claimed at least 50 lives, according to the Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The disaster began with a series of lightening that killed many. Officials say that the instances of lightening continue unabated, in a few cases killing rural farm labourers engaged in harvesting wheat.

    In Quetta in the West of the country, the Balochistan provincial government has called the disaster an “urban flood emergency”, and rain, floods and landslides have continued in the north-western province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    The torrential rains have inflicted devastation across Upper Dir, Chitral Lower, Swat, and Buner, disrupting normal life and triggering financial losses in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Responding to the crisis, the Chief Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has issued directives for immediate assistance to affected families.

    As authorities brace for further rainfall and high winds, Provincial Disaster Management Authority of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has issued a warning, asking citizens and agencies to “remain vigilant and take pre-emptive measures”. With flood risks looming large in low-lying areas and landslide threats in the upper regions, the district administration has been urged to ensure the readiness of essential machinery.

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    The NDMA is planning for the distribution of relief, but the logistics of reaching relief is a challenge as many roads leading to interior parts of the country have been damaged or even washed out.

    Aljazeera quoted a Pakistani environmental expert, Rafay Alam, saying that such heavy rainfall in April was unusual.

    “Two years ago, Pakistan witnessed a heatwave in March and April and now we are witnessing rains and it is all of because of climate change, which had caused heavy flooding in 2022,” he told Aljazeera.

    The present flood has brought back memories of the floods of 2022, when parts of the country were completely submerged and over 1,700 people died as Pakistan experienced abnormal monsoon rainfall nearly three times higher than the past 30-year average. The rains caused uncontrollable flash floods and landslides across the country. Many of the millions left homeless are still awaiting rehabilitation.

    The BBC says that Pakistan has experienced an increase in extreme weather events, as it grapples with the impacts of climate change.

    The floods of 2022 were attributed to climate change. The country’s climate change and environment minister, Sherry Rehman had then described the disaster as the “climate catastrophe of the decade”.

    Pakistan ranks among the five most climate change vulnerable countries in the world, according to the UN’s Global Climate Risk Index.

    Image: Pakistan Red Crescent Society

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