ISLAMABAD: The death toll from devastating floods in Pakistan reached 1290 as the country grapples with a relief and rescue operation of near unprecedented scale.
Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains brought floods that have affected 33 million people and killed at least 1,290 people, over 540,000 houses were destroyed and more than 700,000 animals have been killed.
Large parts of the country remain submerged, particularly the provinces of Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh.
Meanwhile, the water level in Manchar Lake has increased “dangerously” and the authorities concerned have directed the administration to evacuate people living in nearby communities as the lake’s embankment may cave in at any time.
Balochistan has received 436% more rain than the 30-year average this monsoon. The province has seen widespread devastation, including a washing away of key rail and road networks as well as breakdowns in telecommunications and power infrastructure.
The country has received nearly 190% more rain than the 30-year average in the quarter through August, totaling 390.7 millimeters (15.38 inches). Sindh province, with a population of 50 million, was hardest hit, getting 464% more rain than the 30-year average.
Aid has flowed in from a number of countries, with the first humanitarian assistance flight from France landing on Saturday morning in Islamabad.
The United Nations has appealed for $160 million in aid to help tackle what it said was an “unprecedented climate catastrophe” as Pakistan’s navy has fanned out inland to carry out relief operations in areas that resemble a sea.