Thousands of panicked citizens have left a densely populated district of Pakistan, following a new wave of flooding, adding to the growing number of displaced people, local officials and media reported on Sunday.
Dadu district in Sindh province has been surrounded by flood waters leaving only one way for residents to leave the city as the water level of Lake Manchar, the largest body of fresh water of the country, continues to rise.
Gushing floodwaters washed away the city’s first line of defense – home to more than a million people – forcing the army-backed administration to reinforce the remaining embankments, local media reported.
Footage broadcast on local television stations showed thousands of people stranded in tents or in the open along the main road leading to Hyderabad, Sindh’s second-largest district after Karachi.
Each side of the highway could be seen flooded with floodwater for miles.
Another footage showed hundreds of abandoned citizens, on mini-trucks, wagons and auto rickshaws, leaving town. Many others with their cattle were also seen trudging along the road in the hot sun.
The huge flood also forced the administration to transfer nearly 400 prisoners from Dadu district jail to Hyderabad jail.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah told reporters on Sunday that relief agencies were doing their best to save the city.
Recent downpours – 500% above average – and massive flooding have left 125 million people homeless in Sindh alone, in addition to causing a colossal loss of 350 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) to the agriculture and another 50 billion rupees ($221 million) to livestock.
The gravity of the situation also prompted the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to rush into the literally besieged town of Dadu on Saturday evening, ordering troops to speed up operations. relief and rescue.
Meteorologists blame climate change and global warming for increasing the ferocity and frequency of monsoon rains amid rapidly melting glaciers.
The current monsoon season that hit the nuclear South Asian country in June has flooded a third of Pakistan in addition to killing more than 1,400 people, according to the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.
More than 33 million of the country’s 220 million population have been displaced by the latest downpours and floods in the four provinces since mid-June, in addition to causing a staggering $30 billion in damage to already weakened infrastructure .