Authorities in Pakistan are scrambling to protect a vital power station supplying electricity to millions of people against a growing threat of flooding, officials said 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 $30 billion.
Both the 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 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.
CM Murad surveys Manchar lake
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah also aerially surveyed Manchar lake and protective bunds. He also visited nearby inundated villages, met flood affectees to distribute rations among them and reviewed the relief materials being distributed.
SEHWAN: Sindh CM Syed Murad Ali Shah took aerial view of #Manchhar Lake & different protective bunds. He sailed in a boat to visit his ancestral village Vahur, and nearby inundated villages and met with affected people. #PPP pic.twitter.com/7YQUyi0unI
— Sindh Chief Minister House (@SindhCMHouse) 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 orders from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, reported by state broadcaster Radio Pakistan, 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% more than the 30-year average, in July and August.
The devastating floods in Pakistan have led to newborn babies going hungry as mothers struggle to feed them and get medical support https://t.co/lSr74mJt89 pic.twitter.com/bW5vBs5nJe
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 11, 2022
Sindh received 466% more rain than average and all the flood waters pass through Dadu, a district with a population of 1.5 million, thanks to its location.
PMD predicts more rain
Meanwhile, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) predicted more rains for Sindh tomorrow after Monday's forecast showed rain and thundershowers in various areas of the province.
These included Sukkur, Khairpur, Ghotki, Mirpur Khas, Thatta, Chhor, Mithi, Umerkot, Badin, Hyderabad, Karachi and Tharparkar, according to PMD.
It predicted that while mainly hot and humid weather was likely to prevail over the other parts of the province, rain and thundershowers will continue in Mirpur Khas, Thatta, Mithi, Umerkot, Badin, Hyderabad, Karachi and Tharparkar on Tuesday.