Engineers breach Pakistan lake as millions suffer floods: According to authorities, engineers broke Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake to drain water, threatening adjacent communities as torrential rains tormented millions of people afflicted by the nation’s worst floods.
Following months of unprecedented monsoon rains that have killed 1,300 people and destroyed houses, businesses, highways, and bridges, almost one-third of Pakistan is now under water, covering an area the size of the United Kingdom.
Officials estimate that the repair costs would exceed $10 billion, leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless as the monsoon season approaches and winter approaches.
Zebunnisa Bibi is taking refuge in Fazilpur in Punjab Province, where 65 tents are now home to more than 500 people who evacuated their waterlogged villages in search of higher ground, stated, “There is nowhere to wash or go to the restroom.”
Similar tent settlements have increased over a large portion of Pakistan’s south and west. Rain cannot drain because rivers are already flowing at total capacity due to the severe downpours in the north.
Engineers had to construct a canal into Lake Manchar to drain water threatening the cities of Sehwan and Bhan Saeedabad, which have a combined population of around 500,000, according to Sindh state Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon, who spoke to AFP on Monday.
Lake Manchar is now more prominent than before
Nevertheless, many had to evacuated from smaller towns where the newly-directed waterway had flooded.
Although the flood water redirected, Memon warned that the hazard was still very much there.
“We are making every effort to halt the engulfment of further settlements.”
The extent of Lake Manchar, located west of the Indus River, changes with the seasons and the amount of rainfall. However, it is presently dispersed across a larger region than anybody can remember.
Locals who have evacuated crowded pitifully on elevated highways, train lines, and other high ground in Sindh and Balochistan, which has mostly turned into a vast expanse of water.
Swarms of flies are drawn to the foul water by human and animal waste. And dengue epidemics linked to mosquito breeding in the swamps.
One expectant mother at a camp in Punjab said she urgently needed medical care since her baby was due soon.
Given that the baby has not turned from the breech position, the mother of five is aware that giving birth might be challenging.
“I need a physician or a midwife. What if my kid injure or suffers harm?” Fahmidah Bibi stated.
At least 128,000 pregnant women in flood-affected regions urgently require medical attention, according to the United Nations Population Fund, which also noted that 42,000 of them are due within the next three months.
Climate change is to blame
The yearly monsoon season in Pakistan brings torrential, sometimes catastrophic rains that are essential for agriculture and water supply.
But it has been years since there were such heavy downpours.
Officials in Pakistan attribute the increased frequency and severity of severe events worldwide to climate change.
Pakistan ranks seventh on a list of nations the NGO Germanwatch considers most susceptible to severe weather brought on by climate change while producing less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Although a sizable army-led rescue effort is actively underway, the country’s officials have acknowledged feeling helpless in the face of the disaster. As a result, they have made a plea for outside assistance.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority’s most recent statistics, since the beginning of the monsoon season in June, nearly 6,000 kilometers (4,000 miles) of roads have washed away, 246 bridges have destroyed, and 1.6 million homes have either destroyed or severely damaged.