Pakistan’s prime minister says he is personally monitoring crisis situation and has directed authorities to ensure emergency assistance
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government will “not abandon” the people of Karachi during “their time of crisis” amid ongoing record-breaking monsoon rains, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday.
In a series of posts on Twitter, Khan said the government was “fully cognizant” of the devastation wrought by the rains, which have resulted in at least 40 people being killed in Karachi in the past week.
“My government is fully cognizant of the suffering of our people in the wake of the heavy rains, especially the people of Karachi,” he wrote. “I am personally monitoring the relief and rescue operations, and am in constant contact with the National Disaster Management Authority chairman and Sindh governor for regular updates,” he added.
“Have directed NDMA chairman to immediately not only rescue stranded people, but also provide emergency medical assistance, food and shelter to all those in need. I have also asked NDMA chairman to ensure restoration of utilities on an emergency basis,” said Khan, as he vowed to devise a “permanent” solution to the persistent problems being faced by the Sindh capital.
“We will be announcing a plan for a permanent solution to the problems caused by floods by cleaning of nullahs, fixing of the sewage system and resolving the huge challenge of water supply to the people of Karachi,” the prime minister added.
The record-breaking rainfall—Karachi alone has witnessed over 500mm of rain in the past three days, more than it sees in the entire month of August annually—had left large parts of the metropolis submerged, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes and damaging infrastructure and property.
Meanwhile, the Karachi Water Board has warned that the water level of the Hub Dam, which supplies drinking water to Karachi and meets the needs of several areas of Balochistan, crossed the 339-foot mark on Thursday, reaching its maximum capacity for the first time in 13 years.
The Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) has shut Hub Dam to visitors due to concerns of flooding, and settlements below it have been evacuated in case of emergency resulting from its spillways overflowing.