Over 113,000 Pakistanis still in flood relief camps

Monsoon rains have so far left 166 dead, with entire length of River Indus still at either medium or high flood level.

    Over 113,000 Pakistanis still in flood relief camps
    Relief camp shelters for flood-affected villagers in the Rajanpur district, Punjab province [AFP]

    The 2015 monsoon rains in Pakistan have so far killed 166 people, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

    The NDMA also said that the water has affected, in total, over one million people from nearly 3,000 villages throughout the country, with more than 113,000 people still in relief camps.

    The River Indus, throughout its length, is still at either medium or high flood level.

    In fact, unseasonably early rainfall has been affecting Pakistan since late February.

    On April 26, a severe storm in northwest Pakistan killed 44 people. Heavy rainfall starting on June 3 resulted in flash floods in Khuzdar District, Baluchistan Province.

    Heavy monsoon rains, the rapid melting of snow and outbursts from glacial lakes from July 16, have led to flash floods and the flooding of the Indus River in various locations across Pakistan.

    Chitral District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been badly hit with an estimated 285,000 people caught by flooding.

    This week, the NDMA said, floodwaters submerged hundreds of villages, adding that rescuers continue to use helicopters and boats to transfer stranded residents to higher ground.

    In the last few days, rainfall has been much lighter but the river flood is likely to last at least another 10 days.

    Every year, typically from June to September, floods triggered by monsoon rains kill many people in Pakistan.

    The 2010 monsoon, which resulted in “the worst floods in the country's history," killed almost 1,800, according to the website of Pakistan's Dawn newspaper.

    Some Pakistanis accuse their government of failing to invest in dams and other infrastructure needed to regulate water levels throughout both wet and dry seasons.

    As a result, the country suffers from worsening water shortages.

    In December 2013, the World Resources Institute ranked Pakistan among the 36 most water-stressed countries in the world.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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