Flood dashboard launched as govt warns of more rains

ISLAMABAD: The gover­nment on Monday laun­ched its ‘Digital Flood Dashboard’ to ensure transparency in the allocation of funds and to keep the nation informed about the rescue and relief activities in the flood-hit areas.

Meanwhile, Federal Mini­s­ter for Climate Change Sen­a­tor Sherry Rehman warned that Sindh is still in a perilous situation as Indus River is still in high flood at Kotri Barrage with inflows of more than 600,000 cusecs.

The dashboard was launched by Planning Minister and National Flood Response and Coordination Centre (NFRCC) chief Ahsan Iqbal. Speaking on the occasion, the minister said the portal had been launched on the directives of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to ensure transparency and provide information to the general public as well as donors about the relief activities and distribution of funds.

Stating that the floods have affected nearly 33 million people, the minister said the scale of the disaster was so big that even if it had happened in any developed country, it would have been larger than their “administrative capabilities”.

Mr Iqbal said the damage was being assessed on a daily basis and final estimates would be available after water receded from the affected.

Minister warns of more rains

Talking about the flood situation in Sindh, Ms Rehman said the high flood situation in the Indus River was posing a serious threat to the surrounding regions.

She also warned of more rainfall in the southern parts of Sindh, which she said could prove detrimental to relief and rescue operations.

Discussing the looming health crisis, she said Karachi was seeing an outbreak of dengue and the cases were already 50 per cent higher than last year.

Read: Victims of climate change or bad governance?

She said efforts aimed at providing medicines and medics to 81 calamity-hit districts were being expedited.

Calling food insecurity ‘another impending crisis’, the minister said that around 70pc of the onion crop along with rice and maize had been completely destroyed in the country.

She said urgent relief in the form of food, tents and medicines was being provided by national and provincial disaster management authorities, but more resources were required to meet the needs on ground.

She said the death toll in the country has reached 1,422 while Sindh has recorded the highest number of deaths with 594 casualties.

She thanked the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his visit and ‘making an unequivocal plea for humanitarian assistance to Pakistan’.

Telecom sites restored

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has said that the majority of mobile phone towers that were damaged by floods had been restored and the services resumed.

In a press release, the PTA said that due to the joint efforts of the authority and telecom operators to restore connectivity, the number of non-functional sites had been reduced to 190 which was a mere 0.3pc of the total sites across the country.

The press release added that currently, 153 cell sites in Sindh and 37 in Balochistan are affected and inaccessible due to floodwaters.

The PTA is continuously monitoring the situation and will continue to update the public about the restoration of services, the press release said.

Published in Dawn, September 13th, 2022

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