Pakistan flood death toll rises to nearly 1,500

Pakistan flood death toll rises to nearly 1,500

by Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Unprecedented floods in Pakistan that have engulfed huge swathes of the South Asian country have killed nearly 1,500 people, data showed on Thursday as authorities try to ramp up relief efforts for millions hit by the disaster.

The floods, caused by record monsoon rains and melting ice, affected 33 million people, swept away everything in their path and caused an estimated $30 billion in damage.

The death toll stands at 1,486, including 530 children, the National Disaster Management Authority said.

Aid from the United Arab Emirates and the United States arrived in the country on Thursday, the State Department said, while the United Nations is still assessing reconstruction needs.

In recent weeks, authorities have erected barriers to prevent floodwaters from reaching key structures such as power plants and homes, while farmers face shortages of fodder for their livestock.

Pakistan received 391mm of rain in July and August, almost 190% more than the 30-year average. That figure reached 466% in one of the hardest-hit regions, southern Sindh province.

The government and the United Nations have blamed climate change for the rising water levels that have forced thousands of people from their homes to live in tents or along open roads after record summer temperatures.

(Report by Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam in Islamabad, written by Alasdair Pal; French version by Alizée Degorce, edited by Kate Entringer)


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