29 Aug, 2022 13:42
A third of Pakistan under water – official
The country is faced with a crisis of “unimaginable proportions,” climate change minister Sherry Rehman says
A family wades through a flood-hit area following heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. © AFP / Abdul Majeed
A third of Pakistan is under water as a result of flooding caused by record monsoon rains, the South Asian country’s climate change minister, Sherry Rehman, has said.
“It's all one big ocean, there’s no dry land to pump the water out,” Rehman told the news agency AFP on Monday.
Pakistan spans 881,913 square kilometers (340,509 square miles), which makes it the world’s 33rd-largest country by area, ahead of the likes of Turkey, France and Germany. Inhabited by almost 242 million people, it’s also the fifth most populated nation in the world.
What’s happening in Pakistan now is “very far from a normal monsoon – it is climate dystopia at our doorstep,” the minister said.
The flooding has created a crisis of “unimaginable proportions” in the country, she added.
In a separate interview with Deutsche Welle, Rehman claimed that “we've had to deploy the navy for the first time to operate in Indo-Pakistan” because such vast areas are being covered with water.
The death toll since mid-June from the monsoon rains had reached 1,061 as of Monday, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.
READ MORE: Pakistan flood death toll exceeds 1,000 – officials
More than 3,000 roads have been destroyed, with 130 bridges and 495,000 homes damaged by flash floods, the agency said.
Rehman estimated last week that the disaster had affected around 33 million people in the country.