Death toll from Pakistan floods rises to nearly 1,400
35 die in southern Sindh province, another in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, bringing total to 1,391 in last 24-hour
The death toll from Pakistan's catastrophic floods has risen to nearly 1,400, with 36 new casualties, including 15 children, reported in the last 24 hours, official statistics showed on Friday.
The country's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) confirmed 35 new fatalities in southern Sindh province, while one person died in flood-related mishaps in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, bringing the total to 1,391.
According to the NDMA's data, 577 people have died in Sindh since June 14, followed by 293 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and 263 in Balochistan.
It added that 191 people have died in the northeastern Punjab province, 22 in Gilgit Baltistan, one in Islamabad, and 44 in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
Since June 14, a total of 12,722 people have been injured in the rain and flood-related incidents across the country.
Monsoon season in Pakistan, like in other countries in the region, usually results in heavy rains, but this year has been the wettest since 1961.
Currently, one-third of the country is underwater as the massive rains and melting glaciers have caused the country’s main Indus River to overflow, inundating vast swaths of plains, and farms.
Destructive rains and floods have also washed away hundreds of thousands of houses, bridges, roads and buildings across the South Asian nuclear country, which is already grappling with political and economic turmoil.
So far, over 1.73 million houses damaged including 565,878 completely destroyed while 754,708 livestock perished.
Over 33 million of the country's approximately 220 million population have been affected by the raging floods, causing a staggering loss of $10 billion in damages to an already weakened infrastructure.
Almost 45% of the country's cropland has already been inundated by the floods, posing a serious threat to food security and further adding to the already skyrocketing inflation.
Hundreds of thousands of displaced people are also dealing with outbreaks of waterborne, skin and eye diseases, with health experts warning of a higher number of deaths from diarrhea, gastrointestinal, typhoid, malaria dengue, and other infections than from rains and floods.
UN chief arrives
On Thursday night, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres landed in Islamabad for a two-day visit to express solidarity with the South Asian country.
He was received at Islamabad International Airport by State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar.
"I have arrived in Pakistan to express my deep solidarity with the Pakistani people after the devastating floods here. I appeal for massive support from the international community as Pakistan responds to this climate catastrophe," the UN chief tweeted after his arrival.
During his stay, he will meet with Pakistani leadership and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to the catastrophe caused by climate change, according to the Foreign Ministry.
He will also visit the flood-hit areas and interact with displaced families and oversee the UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s rescue and relief efforts for millions of affected people.