Home Latest News Pakistan Seeks Aid as Deaths Caused by Floods Cross 900

Pakistan Seeks Aid as Deaths Caused by Floods Cross 900

NDMA says 903 people have died due to rains thus far, with Climate Change minister warning torrential downpours have provoked humanitarian disaster

by Staff Report

Roads have been washed away by the floods in Sindh

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Wednesday urged all Pakistanis to donate generously to the Prime Minister’s Flood Relief Fund 2022, as total deaths due to the ongoing rains crossed 900, with tens of thousands still without shelter or food.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Aurangzeb said the State Bank of Pakistan had issued a circular to all commercial banks for collecting donations to help the rain-afflicted population of the country. Both local and overseas Pakistanis can donate to this fund, she said, stressing that this year’s rainfall had broken 30-year records.

“The entire country, especially Balochistan and Sindh, have suffered an unprecedented disaster,” she wrote. “We should all come together to help our troubled countrymen and provide them support,” she added. Providing details of the account in which donations could be deposited, she said all commercial banks could collect the funds, adding overseas Pakistanis could send their aid through wire transfers, money service bureaus, money transfer operators and exchange houses. Donations could also be deposited through mobile and internet banking and ATMs, she said.

Addressing a press conference, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said the federal government had also appealed to international development partners for assistance to expedite the reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by the flooding. Similarly, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah urged philanthropists to help the flood-hit people of the province, stressing this was an unprecedented catastrophe. The province has launched a Sindh Flood Relief Fund, with the chief minister saying the salaries of ministers, PPP MPAs and various officials would also be deposited in it to help the victims of the floods.

“We are trying to arrange tents, mosquito nets, beds, edibles, medicines, and other items for the victims,” he said. “Philanthropists, welfare organizations, and donor agencies should visit Sindh to assess the situation and provide support to distressed people,” he added.

More casualties

The pleas for aid come as the total number of confirmed deaths due to rain-related incidents since mid-June has now risen to 903. According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), of the 903 deaths confirmed due to the rains thus far, 293 have been reported from Sindh alone; 230 Balochistan; 169 Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; 164 Punjab; 37 Pakistan-administered Kashmir; 9 Gilgit-Baltistan; and 1 in Islamabad.

Total injuries, meanwhile, have now climbed to 1,293, with 836 from Sindh; 230 Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa; 105 Punjab; 98 Balochistan; 20 Pakistan-administered Kashmir; and 4 Gilgit-Baltistan. Authorities, including Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, have warned current estimates of destruction to infrastructure are likely far lower than actual losses, adding that tens of thousands are currently homeless and facing shortages of food.

In various TV appearances on Wednesday, she said the situation was worsening by the day and the government needed help to ensure relief for the people. “We have monsoons every year,” she told the BBC. “But nothing like this. This downpour has been of biblical proportions,” she said. In a subsequent appearance on Geo News, she warned that the government expected a similar deluge next year, adding urgent planning was required to prepare the country for the “new normal” of extreme weather. She also warned that tens of thousands of acres of crops had been completely destroyed, warning this posed great risk for the country’s food security in the coming months.

In a situation report, the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said this year’s rains had affected approximately 2.3 million people across Pakistan since mid-June, with Sindh and Balochistan being the worst-hit. Rehman has said the national rainfall in July was almost 200 percent above average, with parts of Sindh facing more than 500% of their annual rainfall within days.

Communications hampered

Submerged roads and railway tracks have left several parts of the country, particularly in rural Sindh and Balochistan, inaccessible for several days, hampering rescue and relief efforts. According to authorities, the main highway linking Karachi with Balochistan has been cut off for over a week due to the collapse of a bridge, while an airport in Nawabshah district has been shuttered because its airfield is almost fully submerged.

In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has declared an emergency in Tank owing to flash floods and landslides. In south Punjab, meanwhile, large parts of Dera Ghazi Khan district remain underwater and Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi has directed Chief Secretary Kamran Afzal to personally visit all flood-affected areas—particularly Rajanpur, Tauna, Dera Ghazi Khan—to oversee relief efforts. Chairing a meeting of the Disaster Management Ministerial Committee, he ordered rescue and relief operations to be expedited and all institutions to help the flood-hit population.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment