Flooding triggers fresh migrations from southern Pakistan

One-third of Pakistan has been flooded, with those in the southern province of Sindh displaced. – AFP pic, September 11, 2022.

THOUSANDS of panicked citizens have left a densely populated district in southern Pakistan following a fresh spell of floods, adding to the growing number of displaced people, Anadolu Agency reported, citing officials and local media today.

The Dadu district of southern Sindh province has been surrounded by floodwaters, leaving only one passage for the residents to leave the city as the water level in Manchar Lake, the country’s largest freshwater body, is continuously rising. 

Gushing floodwaters have washed away the first defence line of the city, home to over one million people, forcing the administration backed by troops to strengthen the remaining embankments, local broadcaster Geo News reported. 

Footage aired on local TV channels showed thousands of stranded people lodged in tents or under open skies along the main highway that leads to Hyderabad, the second-largest district in Sindh after Karachi. 

Either side of the highway could be seen inundated in floodwaters for miles. 

Another footage showed hundreds of flapped citizens, on mini trucks, wagons, and auto rickshaws, leaving the city. Many others along with their livestock were also spotted trudging along the road under the hot sun.

The huge flooding also forced the administration to shift nearly 400 prisoners from Dadu district jail to Hyderabad Prison.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told reporters today the rescue agencies are trying their best to save the city. 

The severity of the situation also prompted the country’s powerful army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa to air dash to the literally besieged Dadu city yesterday evening, directing troops to accelerate relief and rescue operations. 

Meteorologists heap the blame on climate change, and global warming, which have increased the ferocity and frequency of monsoon rains amid fast-melting glaciers.

The current monsoon season that struck the South Asian country in June has inundated one-third of Pakistan and killed more than 1,400 people, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Over 33 million people of the country’s 220 million population have been displaced by the latest downpours and flooding in all four provinces since mid-June, in addition to causing a staggering US$30 billion (RM134.94 billion) in damages to the already weakened infrastructures. – Bernama, September 11, 2022.

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