Manchar, Pakistan’s biggest lake, may burst banks


Karachi: Manchar, Pakistan’s biggest freshwater lake, is feared to burst its banks despite authorities’ continued draining efforts in a controlled way.

The first attempt was made on Sunday when officials breached Manchar Lake to avoid a catastrophe, a move they acknowledged could displace up to 100,000 people from their homes but would also save densely populated areas from floods.

On Tuesday, Manchar Lake was breached at two more points to lower the water level, which remained dangerously high, posing a threat to adjoining areas.

Provincial minister for Irrigation, Jam Khan Shoro, on Monday said the effort was not working. “The water level at Manchar lake has not come down.”

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif also travelled to Sindh on Monday to assess the damage and toured the area with his foreign minister by helicopter. The region produces half of the country’s food, but 90% of its crops are ruined, while entire villages have been swept away.

PM Shehbaz Sharif said his country is not to blame for the climate-induced disaster, which he has described as the “toughest moment” in the nation’s history.

The government has so far estimated $10bn in damages and has called for global powers to help. Last week, the US announced $30m in humanitarian assistance for Pakistani flood victims, and multiple other countries have flown in aid.

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SOURCEThe Guardian
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