Floods wreak havoc across Pakistan, death toll is 1,061

ISLAMABAD: The overall death toll from floods across Pakistan reached 1,061 on Monday while rising levels of the gushing Indus river threatened more deluges in the lower-lying plains of Punjab and Sindh provinces before emptying into the Arabian Sea.
Data released by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) stated that 1,600 people were injured and more than 719,000 livestock had perished.
The floods, according to NDMA, destroyed over 3,451 km of roads, 149 bridges, 170 shops, and 949,858 houses, and swept away villages, crops and orchards spread over thousands of acres.
Pakistan finance minister Miftah Ismail said the floods have inflicted an estimated “loss of at least $10 billion” on the country.
Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s climate change minister, said in a video posted on Twitter that Pakistan is experiencing a “serious climate catastrophe, one of the hardest in the decade”.
“We are at the moment at ground zero of the front line of extreme weather events in an unrelenting cascade of heatwaves, forest fires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outbursts, flood events, and now the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking non-stop havoc throughout the country,” she said.
As experts blame climate change for the flooding, people are criticising government and local authorities for allowing builders to construct hotels and houses on the banks of rivers. “These hotels and markets block the natural waterways. Much of the devastation would have been avoided if we had not blocked the paths of rivers,” said Khaista Rehman, a resident of Kalam in Swat, where floods had wiped out most of the hotels and markets that had been built on the banks of the river.
“I haven’t seen destruction of this scale, I find it very difficult to put it into words … it is overwhelming,” Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari told foreign media, adding that many crops that provided much of the population’s livelihoods had been wiped out. “Going forward, I would expect not only the IMF, but the international community and international agencies to truly grasp the level of devastation,” he said.Flooding from the Swat river had affected northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where tens of thousands of people — especially in Charsadda and Nowshera districts — have been evacuated from their homes to relief camps set up in government buildings. Many have also taken shelter on roadsides, said Kamran Bangash, a spokesperson for the provincial government. Bangash said some 180,000 people have been evacuated from villages in Charsadda and 150,000 from Nowshera district villages.
The Swat river merges with the Kabul river in Charsadda and joins the Indus at a historical place where a military fort built by Mughal emperor Akbar, which had guarded the northwest of India after the 1560s until Partition, still stands.
The combined flow of the Jhelum, Ravi, Chenab, Beas and Sutlej rivers run southwest for approximately 71 km before joining the Indus at Mithankot, southern Punjab.
Millions of people await more misery as the Indus gushes towards the low-lying areas of Sindh and southern Punjab. The latest inflow and outflow levels of the Indus recorded at Chashma, Pakistan Punjab, stand at 525,362 cusecs and 519,362 cusecs, respectively.

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