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Pakistan Flooding Deaths Pass 1,000 In ‘Climate Catastrophe’

ISLAMABAD (AP) Deaths from widespread flooding in Pakistan topped 1,000 since mid-June, officials said Sunday, because the countrys climate minister called the deadly monsoon season a significant climate catastrophe.

Flash flooding from the heavy rains has washed away villages and crops as soldiers and rescue workers evacuated stranded residents to the safety of relief camps and provided food to a large number of displaced Pakistanis.

Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority reported the death toll because the monsoon season began sooner than normal this season in mid- June reached 1,033 people after new fatalities were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and southern Sindh provinces.

Sherry Rehman, a Pakistani senator and the country’s top climate official, said in a video posted on Twitter that Pakistan is experiencing a significant climate catastrophe, among the hardest in the decade.

We have been right now at the bottom zero of leading type of extreme weather events, within an unrelenting cascade of heatwaves, forest fires, flash floods, multiple glacial lake outbursts, flood events and today the monster monsoon of the decade is wreaking non-stop havoc through the entire country,” she said. The on-camera statement was retweeted by the countrys ambassador to europe.

Flooding from the Swat River overnight affected northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where thousands of people especially in the Charsadda and Nowshehra districts have already been evacuated from their homes to relief camps setup in government buildings. Many also have taken shelter on roadsides, said Kamran Bangash, a spokesperson for the provincial government.

Bangash said some 180,000 folks have been evacuated from Charsadda and 150,000 from Nowshehra district villages.

Khaista Rehman, 55, no regards to the climate minister, took shelter along with his wife and three children privately of the Islamabad-Peshawar highway after his home in Charsadda was submerged overnight.

Thank God we have been safe now with this road quite high from the flooded area,” he said. “Our crops have died and our home is destroyed but I’m grateful to Allah that people are alive and I’ll restart life with my sons.

The unprecedented monsoon season has affected all of the country’s provinces. Nearly 300,000 homes have already been destroyed, numerous roads rendered impassable and electricity outages have already been widespread, affecting thousands of people.

Pope Francis on Sunday said he wished to assure his closeness to the populations of Pakistan struck by flooding of disastrous proportions. Speaking throughout a pilgrimage to the Italian town of LAquila, that was hit by way of a deadly earthquake in 2009, Francis said he was praying for the countless victims, for the injured and the evacuated, therefore that international solidarity will undoubtedly be prompt and generous.

Rehman told Turkish news outlet TRT World that by enough time the rains recede, “we’re able to well have 1 / 4 or 1 / 3 of Pakistan under water.

That is something that is really a global crisis not to mention we shall need better planning and sustainable development on the floor. … Well have to have climate resilient crops in addition to structures, she said.

IN-MAY, Rehman told BBC Newshour that both countrys north and south were witnessing extreme weather events due to rising temperatures. So in north really just now we have been … experiencing what’s referred to as glacial lake outburst floods which we’ve a lot of because Pakistan houses the highest amount of glaciers beyond your polar region.”

The federal government has deployed soldiers to greatly help civilian authorities in rescue and relief operations in the united states. The Pakistani army also said in a statement it airlifted a 22 tourists trapped in a valley in the country’s north to safety.

Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif visited flooding victims in city of Jafferabad in Baluchistan. He vowed the federal government would provide housing to all or any those that lost their homes.

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Associated Press writers Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Asim Tanveer in Multan, Pakistan, and Frances DEmilio in Rome contributed.

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