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Over 1,000 Dead, Millions Displaced by Floods in Pakistan

floods in Pakistan

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More than 1,000 people have been killed in heavy floods in Pakistan since mid-June, government officials in Karachi confirmed, referring to the wave of rainfall as a “serious weather catastrophe”.

The heavy rains have inundated entire villages and crops are being washed off the face of the earth by the floodwaters. Across the country desperate soldiers are trying to rescue families from villages, who are running with the few things they can carry from their homes to avoid being swallowed by the oncoming waves.

According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) the floods have left more than 1,350 people dead across Pakistan’s different provinces covering up to a third of the country’s inhabited territory.

One of the most affected areas is the Kalam Valley in the province of Kyber Pakhtunkwa, the rivers overflowed by the torrential rains have carried away entire villages and even tall buildings such as an iconic hotel in the area. Because of the floods the valley has been completely cut off from the rest of the country, there is no electricity, no gas, and no communication with the outside world.

The floods in Kyber Pakhtunkwa province destroyed the floodgates of a water reservoir in the north causing the Swat and Kabul rivers in Baluchistan province to overflow.

Millions of people are now sheltering in tents or shelters made of precarious materials waiting for some kind of help to arrive, however, due to the destruction of infrastructure caused by the floods this may take a long time to arrive, as the bridges connecting the isolated provinces have been carried away by the currents.

Pakistan floods: a catastrophe with global consequences

Up to 33 million people have been displaced by the torrents of rain which, as they flow down the mountain ranges, become absolute avalanches, sweeping away entire villages in their wake. It is estimated that more than one million houses have been destroyed.

Material losses are estimated at more than 900,000 head of livestock killed, 90 % of the crops in the affected areas have been lost, more than 40 water dams have been breached and up to 220 bridges have collapsed as a result of the catastrophe in Pakistan. It is estimated that the floods will cost the economy up to $10 billion.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has appealed for international help to address the situation affecting more than 15% of Pakistan’s population. In response to Sharif’s appeal, the United Nations has prepared an emergency aid package of more than $160 million to be transferred on August 30.

The floods in Pakistan come at a time when millions of people in Asia and Africa are suffering from hunger due to grain shortages resulting from the war in Ukraine.

The floods in Pakistan are set to exacerbate the situation, as the country is among the top 10 producers of wheat and rice in the world. Without grain supplies from Pakistan, the famine situation in Afghanistan will worsen further, while another famine may start among the people of northern Pakistan.

Economist, writer and liberal. With a focus on finance, the war on drugs, history, and geopolitics // Economista, escritor y liberal. Con enfoque en finanzas, guerra contra las drogas, historia y geopolítica

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