Islamabad: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned that Pakistan is facing a “monsoon on steroids” as the government issued more flood warnings for the next 24 hours, media reports said.
Heavy rains over two months have caused the worst flooding in more than a decade and damaged more than one million homes in Pakistan, The Guardian reported.
Guterres said on Tuesday that south Asia was a hotspot for the climate crisis and that the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan that has left tens of millions needing help was a warning to every nation of the destruction wreaked by human-caused global heating, The Guardian reported.
“The Pakistani people are facing a monsoon on steroids the relentless impact of epochal levels of rain and flooding. It breaks my heart to see these generous people suffering so much,” he said.
The UN has issued an urgent appeal for $160 million to provide help.
“People living in these [climate crisis] hotspots are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts,” Guterres said, adding, “As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate action is being put on the back burner, putting all of us, everywhere, in growing danger.”
In Pakistan, Balochistan and Sindh provinces have had more than four times the average rainfall of the last three decades.
Flash floods fuelled by the climate crisis have affected more than 33 million people, officials have said. The National Disaster Management Authority (NDA) said on Monday the death toll from the monsoon rains and floods in Pakistan had reached 1,136 with 75 killed in the last 24 hours, The Guardian reported.
The NDMA said that more than 1m houses had been damaged. In an immediate warning issued on Tuesday, Pakistan’s Flood Forecasting Division (FFD) said that over the next 24 hours a very high level of flooding was likely to continue in the Kabul River, which flows into Pakistan’s Indus River.
The Indus highway, in Sindh, was submerged under two feet of water. The highway connects Sindh with Punjab and Balochistan provinces.
A video shared by residents showed a coach that had slipped on the highway while water was flowing and authorities were involved in the rescue of passengers. Local people say there were no casualties, The Guardian reported.
The local media reported that there was a rise in waterborne diseases in Sindh and other parts of Pakistan. In some parts of Sindh, there has been a 100 per cent increase in diseases.
The flash flood triggered by an abnormal monsoon has washed away bridges, roads, houses, livestock and people across the country.