Draining floodwater from towns, fields will take 3-6 months: CM

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Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said on Sunday that it would take between three to six months to drain water from the province’s flood-hit areas, as authorities continued to struggle to contain floodwaters that were approaching the city of Dadu.

The monsoon rainfall and subsequent floods have killed 1,396 people across the country between June 14 and September 9, and have left 12,728 injured. More than 30 million have also been displaced.

Sindh is the worst-hit province so far, accounting for the most deaths and injuries. Of the 1,396 fatalities countrywide, Sindh’s total 578. Injuries number 8,321 of the countrywide total of 12,728, according to the NDMA’s most recent update.

Speaking to the media in Karachi, the CM gave a breakdown of the current situation in the province and the losses incurred due to the catastrophic floods.

“The whole world has to come together to combat climate change,” he said, adding that United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had also called on the world to “pitch in” to help Pakistan navigate the crisis.

Shah said that around 35 million people had been displaced while “millions of acres of fertile land” had also been flooded. He went on to say that farmers in Sindh had suffered a loss of approximately Rs3.5 billion while the livestock sector had suffered a loss of Rs50bn.

“In some areas, there is at least eight to 10 feet of water. Even in places where it is receding, the situation is not such that people can return,” he said, highlighting that Pakistan had received unprecedented rainfall this year.

“This year, we received 10-11 times the normal amount of rainfall […] Normal flood at Guddu and Sukkur is around 400,000 cusecs.”

He said that the government was working on rehabilitating people, and working on the province’s drainage and irrigation network. “We think it will take three to six months for the water to drain.”

 

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