Flood-hit Pakistan scrambles to stop biggest lake from overflowing

JAMSHORO, PAKISTAN: Pakistan was scrambling on Tuesday to widen a breach in its largest lake and stop waters from overflowing to inundate nearby towns, worsening unprecedented floods that inundated a third of the southeastern nation. Asian.
Waters brought by record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountains have affected 33 million people and killed at least 1,325, including 466 children, national disaster officials said.
“We have widened the previous breach at Manchar to reduce the rising waters,” Jam Khan Shoro, irrigation minister for the southern province of Sindh, told Reuters on Monday, referring to the lake, which water authorities are seeking to clear. drain.
Already 100,000 people have been displaced from their homes in a bid to prevent the lake from overflowing, an outcome that authorities say could affect hundreds of thousands more.
“Until yesterday, there was huge pressure on the levees in Johi and Mehar towns, but people are fighting back by reinforcing the levees,” district official Murtaza Shah said on Tuesday, adding that 80 to 90 percent residents had already fled.
Those who remain are trying to reinforce the existing dikes with machines provided by district officials.
The waters have turned the nearby town of Johi into a virtual island, as a dike built by locals holds back the water.
“After the breach at Manchar, the water started flowing, before it was sort of stagnant,” resident Akbar Lashari said by phone after the freshwater lake was first breached on Sunday.
Rising waters also flooded nearby Sehwan Airport, civil aviation authorities said.
The floods followed record summer heat, with both the government and the United Nations blaming climate change for the extreme weather and resulting devastation.


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