Water begins to retreat in worst-hit southern Pakistan – Times of India


ISLAMABAD: Floods ebb in hardest hit south of Pakistan Sindh province, officials said Friday, a potentially bright sign in an ongoing crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of people homeless in the impoverished country.
The Indus Riverwhich remained swollen until earlier this month, is now rushing to the Arabian sea, according to Mohammad Irfan, an irrigation officer in hard-hit Sindh. Water levels have dropped as much as three feet in the past 48 hours in some of the flooded areas nearby, including the towns of Khairpur and Johi, where crops and homes were damaged up to medium-high water levels earlier this month.
A day earlier, engineers had opened a major highway in southwestern Baluchistan province, allowing rescue workers to deliver faster aid to those suffering in a race against the spread of waterborne diseases and dengue fever.
Yet hundreds of thousands of people in Sindh live in makeshift houses and tents. Authorities say it will take months to completely drain the water in Sindh.
Nationwide, floods have damaged 1.8 million homes, washed away roads and destroyed nearly 400 bridges, according to the national disaster management authority. The Flood has killed 1,508 people since mid-June, flooded millions of acres of land and affected 33 million people. More than half a million people have become homeless. At one point, nearly a third of the impoverished land was under water. According to several economists, the cost of the disaster could be as much as $30 billion.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif has urged developed countries to scale up aid to his country.
The previous day, scientists and experts in the latest study on ongoing flooding in Pakistan said the country’s overall vulnerability, including people at risk, was the main factor in the disaster. But “climate change” also played a role in causing heavy rainfall, which caused flooding in the country.
August rainfall in the provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan — together nearly the size of Spain — was at least seven times the normal amount, while the country as a whole had more than three times the normal rainfall. That’s according to the report from World Weather Attribution, a collection of mostly volunteer scientists from around the world who conduct real-time studies of extreme weather to look for evidence of climate change.
In Pakistan, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman was the first to publicly blame the developed world for causing climate-induced unusually heavy monsoon rains, which started in June and are expected to continue this month.
Pakistan, at least in the south, is completely flooded. Outside Karachi, go a little further to Sindh and you will see an ocean of water, with no ‘break,’ she tweeted recently. ground? How to feed 33 million people plus? How do you take care of healthcare? Help us,” she added.

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