Pakistan: Minister declares 'national tragedy' as monsoon claims 77 lives

Hundreds of homes destroyed, rescue efforts hampered by heavy rains



By ANI

Published: Thu 7 Jul 2022, 8:13 AM

Monsoon rains in Pakistan have claimed 77 lives, with 39 deaths reported from the Balochistan province alone, said the country's Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference, Rehman termed the deaths due to downpour as a "national tragedy" as hundreds of homes have been destroyed. She said the rescue operations in remote areas are being hampered due to heavy rains.

"The figure includes children, men and women. We are trying to reach out to locals with the help of the national and provincial disaster management authorities," Dawn quoted Rehman as saying.

"The water levels are high, and people need to be careful because the monsoon patterns are changing. At this moment, the rains across Pakistan are 87 per cent more than the average downpour," she added.

The federal minister said that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has prepared a national monsoon contingency plan. She also called on the people to stay alert to prevent further damage.

"We need a comprehensive plan to avert these [deaths and devastation] as all of this destruction is taking place due to climate change," the federal minister said.

According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), rains will continue till July 8.

The meteorological department said that low air pressure is present in the south of Sindh which is getting moisture from the North Arabian Sea, according to Dawn.

After the death of dozens of people, the Balochistan government declared Quetta a disaster-struck area and imposed a state of emergency in the provincial capital.

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"The rising death toll in Quetta is a national level calamity and an extremely grim reality we are having to face, it is important that we take it seriously," Rehman said.

The rivers and canals of the province overflowed due to torrential rains.

According to the provincial disaster management authority, several districts of Balochistan have been receiving monsoon downpours with strong winds since July 4.


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