Pakistan is scrambling to avert the danger as floods intensify, with the death toll exceeding 1,300.

Pakistan is scrambling to avert the danger as floods intensify, with the death toll exceeding 1,300.

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ISLAMABAD/KARACHI, Sept 5 (Reuters) – Pakistani authorities are trying to prevent the country’s largest lake from overflowing its banks and flooding nearby cities after unprecedented flooding, while the disaster management agency increased the death toll by another 24 people on Monday.

Record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in Pakistan’s northern mountains have triggered floods that have affected 33 million people and killed at least 1,314 people, including 458 children, Pakistan’s National Disaster Management Agency said.

The floods followed record summer temperatures, and the government and the United Nations blamed climate change on the extreme weather and the devastation it caused.

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On Sunday, authorities breached Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake, forcing up to 100,000 people from their homes in hopes of draining enough water to prevent the lake from overflowing and flooding more densely populated areas.

But water levels in a lake west of the Indus River in the southern province of Sindh remain dangerously high. read more

“The water level in Lake Manchar has not decreased,” Jam Khan Shoro, the province’s irrigation minister, told Reuters.

He declined to say if another attempt would be made to drain the lake.

Floods are a huge burden on an economy already in need of International Monetary Fund assistance.

The United Nations requested $160 million in aid to help flood victims, but Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said the cost of damage was much higher.

“The total damage is about $10 billion, possibly more,” Ismail said in an interview with CNBC.

“Obviously, this is not enough. Despite scarce resources, Pakistan will have to do most of the hard work.”

Nevertheless, help from abroad is coming.

Aid flights from the United Nations and countries including Turkmenistan and the United Arab Emirates arrived on Monday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Elsewhere in the region, floods are also threatening crisis-hit Sri Lanka, and rains have disrupted life at India’s technology hub, Bangalore.

Northern summer is the rainy season in most of Asia.

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Reporting by Asif Shazad in Islamabad and Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi; Writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Robert Biersell

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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