The United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said on Friday there was a risk of “many more” child deaths in Pakistan from disease after floods claimed the lives of around 400.
The toll for children, estimated at 416 by national authorities, represents around a third of the total of 1,208 people killed amid record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains. “There is now a high risk of water-borne, deadly diseases spreading rapidly — diarrhoea, cholera, dengue, malaria,” UNICEF Pakistan Representative Abdullah Fadil told a Geneva press briefing. “There is therefore a risk of many more child deaths,” he said. Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains have triggered floods that have killed at least 1,191 people, including 399 children.
The military said on Thursday it had evacuated some 50,000 people, including 1,000 by air, since rescue efforts began. The United Nations has appealed for $160 million to help with what it has called an “unprecedented climate catastrophe”. Britain on Thursday pledged $17 million in aid. “We’re on a high alert as water arriving downstream from northern flooding is expected to enter the province over the next few days,” Sindh provincial government spokesman Murtaza Wahab told Reuters. Wahab said a flow of some 600,000 cubic feet (17,000 cu m) per second was expected to swell the Indus, testing its flood defences.