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Pakistan: One-third of country underwater amid its worst floods, UN expresses concern

Pakistan floods: Food is in short supply in Pakistan because water covered millions of acres of crops and wiped out hundreds of thousands of livestock.

Poorva Joshi Edited By: Poorva Joshi @poorvajoshi1424 Islamabad Published on: September 03, 2022 8:32 IST
pakistan floods
Image Source : AP Pakistan: One-third of country underwater amid its worst floods, UN expresses concern

Highlights

  • Torrential monsoon rainfall has caused the Indus River to overflow in Pakistan.
  • More than one-third of the nation is underwater due to deadly floods.
  • Pakistan is facing twin food and health crises brought by the unprecedented floods.

Pakistan flood news: As Pakistan struggles amid the worst floods in its history, more than one-third of the nation is underwater, according to satellite images from the European Space Agency (ESA). Torrential monsoon rainfall -- 10 times heavier than usual -- has caused the Indus River to overflow, effectively creating a long lake, tens of kilometers wide, according to images from the ESA on August 30.

The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over the food shortage in Pakistan amid deadly floods. Food is in short supply because water covered millions of acres of crops and wiped out hundreds of thousands of livestock. Pakistan is facing twin food and health crises brought by the unprecedented floods. 

According to the charity Action Against Hunger, 27 million people in the country did not have access to enough food prior to the floods, and now the risk of widespread hunger is even more imminent, reported CNN.

"Our priority right now is to help save and protect lives as waters continue to rise. The scale of these floods has caused a shocking level of destruction -- crops have been swept away and livestock killed across huge swathes of the country, which means hunger will follow," said Saleh Saeed, chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, a United Kingdom-based aid coalition.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his condolences over the human and material losses caused by floods. He said on August 30 that people were facing food shortages and the price of basic items such as tomatoes and onions had "skyrocketed." "I have to feed my people. Their stomachs cannot go empty," Sharif said.

https://twitter.com/CMShehbaz/status/1564998466522210305

The WHO has also classified Pakistan's worst floods on record as an emergency of "the highest level," warning of a rapid spread of disease due to the lack of access to medical assistance. World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of new outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, skin infections, respiratory tract infections, malaria and dengue in the aftermath of the floods, while a litany of waterborne diseases also posed health risks.

Meanwhile, aid agencies have warned of an uptick in infectious diseases, leaving millions vulnerable to illness caused by what the United Nations has called a "monsoon on steroids." More than 1,100 people have died from the floods since mid-June, nearly 400 of them children, while millions have been displaced, according to Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

(With ANI Inputs)

Also Read: Over 3 million children face health risks in flood-hit Pakistan

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