Authorities Pakistan They warned that more flooding is expected as Lake Manchar in the south of the country swells due to unprecedented monsoon rains, resulting in about 1,300 deaths.
Meteorologists predict more precipitation in the area in the coming days, while authorities urged villagers in Sindh state’s Jamshoro and Dadu districts to evacuate near the lake. The rising waters have reached dangerous levels and pose a threat to a protective weir and embankment, they said. Located west of the Indus River, the lake is Pakistan’s largest natural freshwater lake and one of the largest in Asia.
Officials cut the lake’s embankment to allow excess water to escape and eventually flow into the Indus, but the water continues to rise, Jamshoro district manager Fariduddin Mustafa said on Sunday.
“After assessing that the water levels had reached a dangerous level… and fearing that the lake embankment could be hollowed out at any moment, the management decided to make a cut on the Bagh-e-Yousuf side to prevent uncontrolled water flow,” said Mustafa.
The move comes a day after Pakistan again appealed to the international community to help flood victims that left millions of people homeless across the country. Planes from many countries bring supplies to the country over a humanitarian airlift.
Multiple officials and experts, including UN secretary-general António Guterres, blamed climate change for the unusual monsoon rains and flooding, and last week called on the world to stop “sleepwalking” amid the deadly crisis. He will visit Pakistan on September 9 to tour the flood-affected areas and meet with the authorities.
In its latest report, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Authority put the death toll at 1,290 since mid-June, when monsoon rains began earlier this year, as more deaths were reported in flood-affected areas of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces.
The authority said relief and rescue operations continued on Sunday using soldiers and volunteers, as well as helicopters and boats, to transport people stranded from the flooded areas to relief camps where shelter, food and health care were provided.
While aid camps serving tens of thousands of people were set up in government buildings, thousands took refuge on the side of roads at higher altitudes.
According to initial government estimates, the destruction caused $10bn (£8.6bn) in damage, but planning minister Ahsan Iqbal said Saturday that “the scale of the devastation is enormous and requires massive humanitarian response for 33 million people”.
The renewed request for international aid came as Pakistan received 30 planes with relief supplies from Turkey, China, UAE, France, Uzbekistan and other countries where more planes are expected in the coming days.
Two members of the US Congress, Sheila Jackson and Tom Suozzi, were expected to arrive in Pakistan on Sunday to visit the flood-affected areas and meet with officials.
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