Disastrous floods: Pakistan declares emergency with more than 950 deaths

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Islamabad: With the death toll crossing 950 according to conservative numbers while millions of others were stranded due to the disastrous floods, Pakistan, on Thursday, officially declared a national emergency.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) issued a 24-hour situation report released on a routine basis that accounted for overall life, property, and infrastructure losses incurred by the heavy rains lashing out various parts of the country.

Per the NDMA data, Sindh reported the highest number of deaths as 306 people lost their lives due to floods and rain-related incidents from June 14 to date.

Balochistan reported 234 deaths, whereas Khyber Pakh­tun­khwa and Punjab recorded 185 and 165 deaths, respectively. In Azad Jammu and Kash­mir, 37 people were killed while nine deaths were repor­ted in the Gilgit-Baltistan reg­ion during the monsoon rains. In the same period, Islamabad reported one death.

On Thursday, Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman, in a press conference, called the situation a “climate-induced humanitarian disaster of epic proportions”.

Comparing the current situation with the devastating 2010 floods earlier this week, she said the current situation was worse than that.

“The water is not only flowing from the north as in 2010, but it is equally or more devastating in its sweep and destructive power,” she added.

The minister also said the country had so far received an average of 166 millimetres of rainfall during the month of August, which was 241% above normal, whereas its southern parts, particularly Sindh, got 784% more than the normal average rain of the season which was “alarming”.

In a separate statement, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Thursday also termed the ongoing flood situation a national emergency, adding that at this critical juncture, there was a need to show national spirit to deal with the situation of extraordinary disaster in Sindh and Balochistan.

She asked the entire nation, especially overseas Pakistanis, to donate generously to help the flood victims as a huge amount of money will be required for the rehabilitation of the victims due to the large-scale disaster.

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