Photos: Record Monsoon Cloudbursts Wreak Havoc in Pakistan

Floods have hit much of Pakistan since mid-June, causing at least 903 deaths and leaving about 50,000 homeless.

25 Aug 2022 by al jazeera via thefreeonline shared with thanks

Pakistan floods
Men paddle on makeshift rafts as they cross a flooded street in Hyderabad, Pakistan. [Yasir Rajput/Reuters]

Heavy rains have triggered flash floods and wreaked havoc across much of Pakistan since mid-June, killing at least 903 people and leaving about 50,000 homeless, the country’s disaster agency says.

Thousands whose homes were swept away now live in tents, kilometres away from their inundated villages and towns, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers.

Pakistan floods
A woman wades through a flooded road in Hyderabad. [Yasir Rajput/Reuters]

The flooding has further exacerbated Pakistan’s economic crisis. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif issued an appeal on Wednesday from abroad, urging philanthropists to help flood-affected areas in Pakistan.

After inundating much of southwestern Balochistan and eastern Punjab province, flash floods also affected the southern Sindh province. Authorities this week closed schools in Sindh and Balochistan.

Pakistan floods
Residents use makeshift rafts to make their way along a waterlogged street in a residential area of Hyderabad. [Akram Shahid/AFP]

Monsoon rains, which started in mid-June, were expected to continue this week, mainly in the south.

Pakistan floods
Residents are evacuated from a flood-affected area of Rajanpur, Punjab province. [Shahid Saeed Mirza/AFP]

Murad Ali Shah, the top elected official in Sindh province, said the situation was worse than in 2010, when floods killed at least 1,700 people in Pakistan, mostly in Sindh. “We are doing our best to evacuate people from flood-hit areas,” he said on Tuesday.

Floods have damaged as many as 129 bridges across Pakistan, disrupting the supply of fruits and vegetables and causing an increase in prices.

Pakistan floods
Residents use a makeshift raft to make their way through flood waters in Rajanpur. [Shahid Saeed Mirza/AFP]

Experts say climate change has caused erratic weather conditions in Pakistan, resulting in cloudbursts and excessive melting of glaciers that has swelled rivers. They say that limiting planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions will help limit more drastic weather events around the world.

“In recent decades, we never witnessed such an unusual heavier downpour in Pakistan,” scientist Shahla Gondal told The Associated Press news agency, adding that authorities are ill-equipped and “do not know how to tackle” flooding disasters.

Pakistan floods
Evacuated families take shelter at a makeshift camp in Rajanpur. [Shahid Saeed Mirza/AFP]
Pakistan floods
Rescue workers carry out an evacuation operation in a flood-affected area in Rajanpur. [Shahid Saeed Mirza/AFP]


Pakistan floods
A displaced family carry belongings as they wade through a flooded area in Jaffarabad, Balochistan province. [Zahid Hussain/AP Photo]
Pakistan floods
A displaced family look out from under a plastic sheet while taking refuge on a roadside after fleeing their inundated home in Jaffarabad. [Zahid Hussain/AP Photo]

Author: thefreeonline

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