Pakistan’s largest lake is on the verge of bursting its banks after authorities tried to drain it in a controlled manner, a senior local official has warned.
In a last ditch effort to avoid disaster, authorities breached Manchar Lake on Sundayadmitted that one move could displace up to 100,000 people from their homes, while also saving densely populated areas from flooding.
State Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro said on Monday that these efforts have not borne fruit. “The water level in Lake Manchar has not gone down,” he said of the freshwater reservoir in southern Sindh province.
Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif went to Sindh on Monday to assess the damage and toured the area in a helicopter along with the foreign minister. This region produces half of the country’s food, but 90% of the crop is spoiled, and entire villages have been swept away.
Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers have caused floods that have affected 33 million people and killed at least 1,314 people, including 458 children, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency said in an update on Monday.
Satellite images showed it a third of the country is currently under water. More than 1.6 million homes have been damaged since mid-June.
The UN refugee agency flew in much-needed aid on Monday, with two UNHCR planes landing in the southern port city of Karachi, Sindh’s capital. Two more were expected later in the day. With the help of Turkmenistan, the third plane also landed in Karachi.
“Floods have left children and families in the open, unable to get the basic necessities of life,” said Abdullah Fadil, the representative of the UN Children’s Agency, UNICEF in Pakistan.
The flooding followed record-breaking summer temperatures and rain. The Pakistani government and the UN have blamed climate warming for the extreme weather.
There is Sharif said that his country is not guilty for the disaster resulting from the climate crisis, which he described as “the most difficult moment” in the country’s history.
His government is seeking $10bn (£8.7bn) in reparations and is calling on global powers to help. Last week, the US announced $30m (£26m) in humanitarian aid for flood victims in Pakistan, with many other countries sending aid.
However, Pakistan’s climate change minister blamed polluting rich countries for the “dystopian” climate disruption. Sherry Rehman said Pakistan accounted for less than 1% of greenhouse gas emissions, but suffered the most from the effects of climate warming.
Rahman “Rich countries need to do more,” he told the Guardian.including paying compensations to countries facing climate-induced disasters.
“Historical injustices must be addressed and there must be some degree of climate equity so that the burden of irresponsible carbon consumption does not fall on nations closer to the equator.”
Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this article
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