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Rains render millions homeless across country

Two million people displaced in Sindh alone

Millions of people across the country have been rendered homeless in the recent rains and flood, with two million made homeless in Sindh alone.

As death toll from rain-related incidents in Sindh rose to 52 on Thursday, Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah revealed that more than two million people have lost their houses and are staying at the roadsides of flooded districts. Talking to media late on Thursday night, he said that there is water everywhere and they were in a fix on how and where to drain it to. He said that Indus Highway has come under two to three feet of water. He expressed fears for human disaster if the dislocated people are not provided with food, shelter and other basic amenities of life.

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Sindh Irrigation Minister Jam Khan Shoro has confirmed that FP Bund which was to protect Dadu and parts of Larkana districts has washed away at different points. He said that due to breaches and overtop KN Shah and Mehar towns and areas of Dadu district might come under floodwater. When contacted, Shoro told this reporter that conditions of Manchhar Lake are under control and water of the lake is being siphoned off to Indus River through Aral Wah.

Meanwhile, irrigation officials have made it clear they are unable now to control the flows of water in LBOD. They requested the people living along the drain to move to safer areas as per the advice of DC Badin. Over three hundred people have lost their lives in Sindh, which has also suffered losses of up to Rs650 billion while an estimated population of 10 million has been affected due to the heavy rain spells since early July.

This was stated by Surendar Valasai, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister for Human Right, who is also a PPP MPA from Thar. Damages have been multiplying from the day one of the first torrential rain and are continuing with no respite, he added. According to data collected from different sources, infrastructure losses worth Rs350 billion have been reported in which 2,300 kilometers of roads have been damaged along with 45 bridges.

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Sixty percent of the cotton crop sown on 1,480,000 acres of land has been wiped out. Ninety percent of chilies cultivated on 126,000 acres of land stands destroyed. Eighty percent of the onion and 45 percent of rice crop has also been damaged. Surendar Valasai said that Sindh growers have warned of food crisis. The Sindh government has released Rs280 million for providing instant relief to the people affected by rains. Orders have been placed with manufacturers to make 200,000 tents as all the tents available in the market have already been purchased by the government and others in the wake of rains and subsequent flooding.

Millions of people have become homeless during the last one and a half month, requiring one million tents to accommodate them temporarily. He said that 1.5 million houses have collapsed or damaged in almost all the districts of Sindh as the province received 600 percent more rains during this monsoon, which is unprecedented in last 65 years.

Meanwhile, a new powerful monsoon system has disconnected Balochistan from the rest of the country, causing flash floods and broken bridges, and heavy rainfall which has washed away roads of the province. Intermittent rains are continuing in Chaman due to which the villages of Spina Tiza and Ghojai have been disconnected for the past three days. The Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has said that a strong monsoon system is spreading to south-central and western Balochistan and warned of heavy rainfall and strong winds. According to the Pakistan Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) rains claimed the lives of four more children in the last 24 hours. Local authorities reported land connectivity with the village of Kahan has been disrupted for the past 18 days.

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