Floods in Pakistan could take 6 months to recede, officials say


Floods caused by monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountainous regions have so far claimed the lives of more than 1,400 people and affected 33 million more, washing away homes, roads, railways, livestock and crops. Damages are expected to exceed $30 trillion, triple the previous estimate of around $10 trillion.

“Karachi is witnessing a dengue outbreak as hundreds and thousands of patients are being reported daily in government and private hospitals. Dengue cases this year are 50% higher than last year. With 584,246 people in camps across the country, it could lead to a health crisis. If it goes unchecked,” Pakistan’s Climate Minister Sherry Rehman said on Monday.

Rehman warned that the country was facing massive food shortages, with up to 70% of staple crops such as rice and maize destroyed, and was in urgent need of “food, tents and medicine”.

Rising floods also remain a risk, especially in the hardest-hit areas along the Indus River in Sindh province, with weather forecasts calling for continued rains until September.

In a statement on Monday, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said prolonged monsoon rains would set back water clearing efforts by an estimated 3 to 6 months in some of the affected areas.

He added that the country’s largest freshwater lake, Manchar, has been inundated since early September, with floodwaters affecting hundreds of villages and over 100,000 people.

“We are expediting efforts to provide medicines and drugs to the 81 flood-affected districts of the country. However, these are still early estimates as new data emerges,” Shah said.

Pakistan’s government and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have blamed global climate change for worsening extreme weather that caused a “monsoon on steroids” and submerged a third of the country’s land.

Pakistan floods During a two-day visit, Guterres “expressed his deepest solidarity with the people of Pakistan for the enormous loss of life and human suffering caused by this year’s floods”, and met with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the response to the disaster.

Guterres called on the international community on Friday to help flood-ravaged Pakistan, arguing that while the South Asian nation’s contribution to climate change is minimal, it is one of the most affected by its effects.
“Pakistan has not contributed significantly to climate change, the emission level of this country is relatively low, but Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by climate change, it is the frontline of the impact of climate change,” Guterres said on Friday at the Pakistan Flood Response Coordination Center. After participating in a conference held at the National (NFRCC).