Authorities in Pakistan are scrambling to protect a vital power station supplying electricity to millions of people against a growing threat of flooding, officials reported on Monday, taking steps such as building a dike in front of it.
Floods from record monsoon rains and glacial melt in the mountainous north have affected 33 million people and killed almost 1,400, washing away homes, roads, railways, livestock and crops, in damages estimated at USD 30 billion.
Both the country’s government and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have blamed climate change for the extreme weather that led to the flooding, which submerged nearly a third of the nation of 220 million.
The electricity station in the district of Dadu in the southern province of Sindh, one of the country’s worst affected areas, supplies power to six provincial districts.
Troops were busy strengthening a dike built in front of the station, a visit to the site showed on Sunday.
Pakistan to breach Indus highway to allow water to flow and prevent flooding in town of Dadu pic.twitter.com/KbXvZFHlJs
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) September 12, 2022
“All preventive measures have been taken already to save the grid in case any flooding happens,” Syed Murtaza Ali Shah, a top district official, told Reuters on Monday. The comment followed order from PM Shehbaz Sharif to ensure the 500kV power station did not get flooded.
UN agencies have begun work to assess the South Asian nation’s reconstruction needs after it received 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190 percent more than the 30-year average, in July and August.
Hard to capture the enormity & devastation of Pakistan’s floods. In stats: 33 million ppl affected. Over 1,300 ppl killed (⅓ children). 750k livestock killed. 1.7 million homes destroyed. 17,500 schools damaged.
In searing visuals from today, countless villages now underwater: pic.twitter.com/fPOSpD2bCh
— Samantha Power (@PowerUSAID) September 8, 2022
Sindh received 466 percent more rain than average and all the flood waters pass through Dadu, a district with a population of 1.5 million.
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