Half of Pakistan underwater, over 1,000 dead


Floods caused by monsoons in Pakistan continue to destroy homes and roads. First cases of malaria reported in a hospital.

Pakistan is submerged. The face of the town is transfigured, reduced to an archipelago of small islets that emerge from the water. Villages, schools and countryside are unrecognizable, almost completely submerged by the monsoon rains which for weeks have continued to discharge enormous quantities of water onto the ground. The death toll has risen to 1,100 in these hours, but they are still provisional data. Add to this the specter of food shortages that will make the effects of the most destructive monsoon season in Pakistan’s recent history even more tragic.

First cases of malaria in Pakistan

The government of Islamabad has asked the international community for help to deal with the emergency, with the first flights from Turkey and the United Arab Emirates arriving in the past few hours. Nonetheless, at the moment entire areas remain isolated and rescue intervention is impossible in many of these. The first confirmed cases of malaria have already been reported in the Sindh region, while the alert already raised by the president of the Pakistani Red Crescent remains high, as the Red Cross is called in Islamic countries, about the spread of other diseases such as cholera, favored by the mix of humidity and high temperatures.

Damage to homes and infrastructure

In addition to villages and buildings, infrastructure has also been hit hardest. The Pakistan Disaster Management Authority said that 162 bridges have been damaged so far, and more than 3,000 kilometers of roads have been swept away. We try to use any available means to get the little aid that has reached so far in the most remote areas of the regions of Balochistan and Sindh, the most plagued by the rains: “We are using boats, camels, any means possible to deliver aid to the areas more critical, ”said Faisal Amin Khan, who administers the mountainous province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which has been severely affected. Khan himself referred to the floods of 2010, to date among the worst ever recorded in the history of Pakistan. That year they killed more than 1,700 people and left millions homeless. A budget that could be reached shortly, judging by the constantly worsening emergency. A disaster described by the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, as the worst he had ever seen. Meanwhile, other numbers contribute to aggravate the picture: 33 million inhabitants out of a population of 221 million, that is one in seven, have been affected by the floods, 800 thousand head of cattle have disappeared in the mud. Over a million homes have been destroyed or damaged.

Guterres: “Monsoons on steroids, we need collective action”

The Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres he spoke today, defining the rains that have hit Pakistan for the past three months as “monsoons on steroids”.

Guterres said South Asia has always been fragile in the face of events caused by the climate crisis and that the catastrophic floods in Pakistan warned of the devastating effects of man-made global warming. As Guterres recalled, the recurrence of extreme climatic events of this magnitude signals the urgency to implement timely measures to counter the climate crisis. Suffice it to say that, until a few years ago, these areas would not have experienced such destructive monsoons.

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