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Help for flood victims arrives in hard-hit Pakistani province


KARACHI, Pakistan – On Sunday, two more US military planes loaded with tons of aid for Pakistanis affected by flooding from deadly monsoon rains landed in the southern province of Sindh, one of the worst-hit regions in the impoverished country.

Saif Ullah, spokesman for the country’s Civil Aviation Authority, said each plane was loaded with about 35 tons of emergency aid to be distributed in the province by the World Food Program. The plane landed at Sukkur Airport in Sindh and Ullah said the US operation that began Thursday would continue until September 16.

Pakistan has suffered from extremely heavy monsoon rains that started at the beginning of this year – mid-June. Multiple officials and experts have blamed climate change for the rains and resulting flooding. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last week called on the world to stop “sleepwalking” over the dangerous environmental crisis. He has repeatedly called on the international community to send massive amounts of aid to Pakistan.

Ullah said on Sunday that two more flights carrying relief supplies from the United Arab Emirates landed at Karachi airport. So far, UN agencies and several countries have sent several planeloads of aid, and authorities say the UAE has been one of the most generous donors.

Since mid-June, nearly 1,400 people have been killed, 13,000 injured and millions left homeless due to severe flooding. The waters also destroyed road and communications infrastructure.

In the worst-hit province of Sindh, 621 people, including 270 children, were killed and 8,400 were injured.

Miles of cotton and sugar cane crops, banana orchards and vegetable fields were submerged in flooding. Thousands of mud and brick houses collapsed under the Flood, leaving people homeless and sheltering in tents along damaged roads.

According to the latest report from authorities, unprecedented monsoon rains and floods have destroyed more than 1.5 million homes, 63 bridges, 2,688 kilometers of roads and nearly half a million animals drowned in floodwaters in Sindh province, leaving more than 30 million homeless. .

Pakistani army chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa toured the hard-hit Dadu district of Sindh on Saturday. Dadu could experience further flooding from the rising waters of the Indus River.

“People will continue to suffer if we don’t have a drainage system and dams,” Bajwa told reporters.

He said building dams would help produce electricity, curb pollution and reduce global warming, and army engineers have been asked to conduct an initial study.

Bajwa said working on alternative energy sources is essential and called for the gradual reduction of oil and coal as energy sources to minimal levels.

Since June, heavy rains and flooding have further distressed a distressed Pakistan and highlighted the disproportionate effect of climate change on impoverished populations.

Experts say Pakistan is responsible for just 0.4% of the world’s historic emissions attributed to climate change. The US is responsible for 21.5%, China for 16.5% and the European Union for 15%.

Associated Press writer Asim Tanveer in Multan, Pakistan contributed.

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