KARACHI: Padidan, a town in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, received a massive 1,635.5 millimeters of rain this monsoon season to break a previous 49-year-old record of 1,597.2 millimeters, as heavy rains continue to wreak havoc in Pakistan, killing 830 in the South Asian country.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 313 children were among those who lost their lives to torrential rains and floods across the country since the onset of the monsoon season in mid-June.
Much of the devastation has been witnessed in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province and Sindh, where 225 and 239 people have died, respectively.
“Padidan has received 1,635.5 millimeters water and it is still raining,” Dr. Sardar Sarfaraz, chief meteorologist, told Arab News. “This is the highest monsoon rainfall since 1973 when Sialkot received 1,587.2 millimeters rainfall.”
According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) Sindh, rains have so far killed 30 people, including 15 children, between Monday and Tuesday. The report said monsoon rains had also partially damaged 257,671 houses while fully destroying 110,562.
Shehzad Shah Jilani, a local leader of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Khairpur, however, told Arab News that heavy rains had killed 15 on Tuesday in his district alone, taking the death toll in the district to over 51.
“These are officials figure but the actual figures are very much high as several areas of Khairpur and Sukkur are totally inaccessible,” he said, adding that he himself had seen hundreds of houses totally demolished.
“We are now moving to Naseer Faqeer Jalalni, a union council that has completely been submerged in water and people have taken refuge in the nearby area,” Jilani added.
Pakistan’s minister for climate change, Sherry Rehman, on Wednesday urged Pakistan’s international partners to mobilize to deal with the catastrophe.
“Torrential rains unprecedented in Sindh right now, Balochistan, DG Khan also at risk,” she wrote on Twitter, adding that thousands have been rendered homelss.
Rehman said the Ministry of Climate Change had warned federal and provincial governments regarding heavy monsoon rains.
Pakistan’s election oversight body on Tuesday postponed local government elections in nine districts of the southern Sindh province in view of heavy rains and floods, which have so far killed 239 people in the province.
The first phase of local government elections was held in 14 districts of Sindh in June, but the second phase of polls in Karachi and Hyderabad divisions, scheduled for July 24, had been postponed due to monsoon downpours.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) had rescheduled the polls in Karachi and Hyderabad for August 28; however, it has now decided to delay elections in nine districts of the province.
Balochistan government spokesperson, Farah Azeem Shah, said more than 10,000 livestock, 600,000 hectares of agricultural land, and over 2,500 solar tubewells have been affected by rains.
“Committees have been formed, the deputy commissioner of each district will be the committee head while Frontier Works Organization (FWO) members are also included in it,” she said.
The Met Office on Tuesday predicted more rains in the country from August 23 till August 26 due to strong monsoon currents penetrating southern and upper parts of Pakistan.
“More rain-wind/thundershower (with scattered heavy to very heavy falls) is expected in Sindh, south Punjab, south and northeastern Balochistan from 23rd to 26th August with occasional gaps,” the Met Office said in a weather advisory on Tuesday.
“Rain-wind/thundershowers (with isolated heavy falls) are expected in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from 23rd (night) to 26th August with occasional gaps.”