Pakistan's Dire Situation Could Get Worse

More flooding is expected in southern Pakistan as Lake Manchar swells
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 4, 2022 8:00 AM CDT
Swelling Lake Could Worsen the Situation in Pakistan
Homes are surrounded by floodwaters in Jaffarabad, a district of Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan province, Saturday, Sep. 3, 2022.   (AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

More flooding was expected in southern Pakistan as Lake Manchar swelled from unprecedented monsoon rains that began in mid-June and have killed nearly 1,300 people, officials warned on Sunday. Meteorologists predicted more rain in the region in the coming days, and authorities urged villagers in the Jamshoro and Dadu districts of Sindh province near the lake to evacuate. The rising waters reached dangerous levels and posed a threat to a protective dyke and embankment, they said. The lake, located west of the Indus River, is the largest natural freshwater lake in Pakistan and one of the largest in Asia, reports the AP.

Fariduddin Mustafa, administrator for the Jamshoro district, said Sunday that officials made a cut into the lake's embankment to allow excess water to escape and ultimately flow into the Indus. Still, the water continues to rise, he said. Parts of Dadu district have already been flooded, officials said. The development comes a day after Pakistan appealed again to the international community for aid to victims of the unprecedented flooding from monsoon rains that have left millions homeless around the country. Planes from multiple countries have been bringing supplies to the impoverished country across a humanitarian air bridge.

Multiple officials and experts have blamed the unusual monsoon rains and flooding on climate change, including UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who last week called on the world to stop "sleepwalking" through the deadly crisis. He will visit Pakistan on Sept. 9 to tour flood-hit areas and meet with officials. In an interview with the Guardian, Pakistan Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman is specific about where the blame should be placed: "Global warming is the existential crisis facing the world and Pakistan is ground zero—yet we have contributed less than 1% to [greenhouse gas] emissions."

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She continued, "There is so much loss and damage with so little reparations to countries that contributed so little to the world’s carbon footprint that obviously the bargain made between the global north and global south is not working." According to initial government estimates, the devastation has caused $10 billion in damage but Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said Saturday "the scale of devastation is massive and requires an immense humanitarian response for 33 million people." (More Pakistan stories.)

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