Death Toll Reaches 937, Minister Pleads to Pakistanis Abroad to Donate Generously

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Floods in Pakistan caused by the incessant monsoon rains have caused more than 937 deaths, including 343 children and has left 30 million citizens homeless with no access to clean water and sanitation.

The government declared a national emergency following the heavy rains and termed the crisis as a ‘climate-inducted humanitarian crisis of epic proportions’.

The most number of people died in Sindh Province with the death toll reaching 306 there, according to data compiled by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Balochistan Province also reported 234 deaths while Khyber Pakh­tun­khwa and Punjab recorded 185 and 165 deaths, respectively. The death toll in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir reached 37 and 9 in Gilgit-Baltistan reg­ion. One death was reported from the Islamabad region.

Pakistan received 166.8mm rains this August – a rise of 241% since it receives 48mm rain on an average during these months. Sindh and Balochistan region which were adversely affected witnessed a 784% and 496% rise respectively, news agency Dawn reported citing Pakistan NDMA report.

Southern Pakistan continues to reel from flash floods while 23 districts in Sindh Province were declared calamity hit. The minister of climate change Sherry Rehman said the government has also set up a ‘war room’ to deal with the crisis.

“Pakistan is going through its 8th cycle of monsoon; normally the country has only three to four cycles of [monsoon] rain,” Sherry was quoted as saying by news agency Dawn.

The severity of the situation has prompted administration in Sindh to request for one million tents, while the Balochistan administration too has requested 100,000 tents. The minister said all tent manufacturers have been informed of the requests and steps are being taken to address the situation.

Information minister Marriyum Aurangzeb urged Pakistanis living abroad to donate generously to help Pakistanis back home emerge from the crisis. The government said Pakistan needs PKR 72.36 billion to provide immediate relief to those affected. It needs several billions in economic support to provide food and instant cash relief, rebuilding of houses damaged and loss to cattle and livestock.
(PKR – Pakistani Rupee)

(with inputs from Dawn)

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