Deaths caused by widespread flooding in Pakistan have passed 1,000 since mid-June, officials confirmed, as the nation’s climate minister labeled the deadly monsoon season “a serious climate catastrophe”.
Flash floods, which have intensified in recent days, have wrought destruction across all four provinces. Pakistan has appealed for international aid to support soldiers and rescue workers evacuating stranded people and providing assistance to those displaced.
Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority reported the death toll had reached 1,061 since the monsoon season began in June, earlier than expected.
Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani senator and the country’s top climate official, described the situation as a “serious climate catastrophe, one of the hardest in the decade,” in a video posted to Twitter
“We are at the moment at the 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,” Rehman said.
Pakistan was already facing an economic crisis, with high inflation, a depreciating currency and a current account deficit all piling pressure on the south Asian nation’s economy.
Officials warned that torrents of water were expected to reach Sindh province in the next few days, opening up a new front for relief efforts, as a fresh deluge from the swollen rivers in the north worked its way downstream.