Pakistan's death toll exceeds 1,500 with 22 more flood-related fatalities

Number of houses damaged across country also rises to over 1.81 million

2022-09-16 10:08:13


The death toll from Pakistan's ongoing floods has risen to 1,508 as 22 more people, including six children, have died in flood-related incidents in the last 24 hours, official statistics showed on Friday.

Thirteen of the new fatalities were reported from southwestern Balochistan province, eight from southern Sindh province, and one from northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to the country's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

A total of 646 people have died in Sindh since June 14, followed by 306 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 294 in Balochistan, the NDMA data shows.

It said 191 people have lost their lives in the northeastern Punjab province, 48 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, and 22 in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region. There were 536 children and 308 women among the 1,508 fatalities.

A total of 12,758 people have been injured in the rain and flood-related incidents across the country.

Property damage is also increasing, with over 1.81 million houses damaged, including 581,521 completely destroyed and 927,543 livestock killed, according to the authority.

Monsoon season in Pakistan, like in other countries in the region, usually results in heavy rains, but this year has been the wettest since 1961.

Currently, one-third of the country is underwater as the massive rains and melting glaciers have caused the country's main Indus River to overflow, inundating vast swaths of plains, and farms.

Destructive rains and floods have also washed away 12,718 kilometers (7,902 miles) of roads, 390 bridges and buildings across the South Asian nuclear country, which is already grappling with political and economic turmoil.

Over 33 million of the country's approximately 220 million population have been affected by the raging floods, causing a staggering loss of over $30 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.

Almost 45% of the country's cropland has already been inundated by the floods, posing a serious threat to food security and further adding to the already skyrocketing inflation.

Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are also dealing with outbreaks of waterborne skin and eye diseases, with health experts warning of a higher number of deaths from diarrhea, gastrointestinal, typhoid, malaria dengue, and other infections than from rains and floods.

So far, Pakistan has received 104 flights of humanitarian aid from Türkiye, UAE, China, the US, Uzbekistan, France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Nepal, Turkmenistan, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Program.

According to the Foreign Ministry, over $300 million has been pledged to the relief efforts by many friends and partners.

"Let me clarify for better understanding that this is apart from the other contributions, for example, we are not counting in this, the US$ 370 million by World Bank, which was right at the beginning re-purposed for various focus areas including for cash transfers to the affectees, so that is separate," said Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, on Thursday.

On Aug. 30, the UN and Pakistan's government issued a flash appeal for $160 million to cope with the devastation caused by unprecedented rains and floods, but despite the passing of two weeks, the UN has only received $38 million.