April 1, 2023

Monsoon-triggered flash floods in Pakistan have killed 982 people since mid-June, According to ABC News. Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif on Friday turned to the international community for help as torrential rain injured 1,456 people and displaced thousands.

The government has declared a state of emergency as first responders struggle to evacuate citizens from areas of the country that are now inaccessible, According to the GuardianThe most affected are Balochistan and Sindh, where the death toll has risen by 45 since Friday.

Pakistan’s monsoon season has arrived earlier than expected this year, with videos on social media showing flooded roads, hotels and bridges. Provinces like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where floods destroyed the gates of a vital water control system, are now in dire straits.

The Pakistani government has since deployed troops to help deal with the disaster.

“We preemptively warned and forced undecided residents to leave their homes for safety and move to relief camps set up in government buildings in safe locations,” Santa Safi, a senior administrator in the troubled Charsadda district, told ABC News.

A man carries his sick daughter through the flood-ravaged Swat Valley in the north.
A man carries his sick daughter through the flood-ravaged Swat Valley in the north.

ABDUL MAJEED via Getty Images

Safi added that flooding in the Swat and Kabul rivers is likely to increase. Nowshera district chief executive Quratul Ain Wazir said floodwaters covered the streets. Meanwhile, Kalam Valley now has no electricity, gas or communication network.

“Our government has evacuated many people and brought others to relief camps, and the government is providing beds and food in safe buildings,” Safi told ABC News. “We will use the police to force those who hesitate to leave their homes.”

Sharif’s cry for help prompted the United Nations to allocate $160 million for disaster relief efforts, which Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftihar said would be launched on August 30. Nowshera local Khushal Wahab recalled the catastrophic flooding in 2010 and told ABC News, “People were scared.”

In Balochistan, all 34 districts were affected, and after roads and bridges were destroyed, rescue could only be done by helicopter, so rescue could not come soon. In the eastern Punjab province, a man named Rahim Hassan lost his home and two children.

“I have nothing in my life,” he said, “my home was destroyed, my children were washed away by the gushing water, and now we lie helpless on this road under the open sky, and the soldiers are feeding us. “

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