Pakistan floods: UAE residents speak of their worry for family and friends back home

The monsoon floods have affected 30 million people across the country

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Pakistani residents in the UAE say they worry for relatives, friends and the public back home as heavy floods cause devastation in their country.

Flash flooding caused by monsoon rains has killed nearly 1,000 people and has affect 30 million people since June.

The crisis has forced the government to declare a state of emergency, mobilise the army for relief efforts and call for international assistance.

Ajman resident Ayesha Sohail has relatives in Sialkot, a city in the Punjab province, where a flood warning was issued.

Pakistan is experiencing abnormal monsoon rainfall... resulting in uncontrollable urban and flash floods and landslides across the country,” she said.

“We are so scared and are not able to rest and sleep. We are praying for everyone's safety.

“It is so heart breaking seeing millions of Pakistanis becoming homeless. They are sleeping in distress, after not only losing their home but also family members.”

Villages with weak infrastructure from the Sindh province north to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province have been affected so far, with rescue teams struggling to get access in many areas.

Sherry Rahman, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Climate Change, said that the country had so far received an average of 166 millimetres of rainfall in August — 214 per cent above normal, local media reported.

She said that the country was “going through a climate-induced humanitarian disaster”.

Dubai resident Hena Khan said that politicians in Pakistan should focus on relief efforts.

“Pakistan is witnessing one of the worst floods in recent decades. Such a tragedy with people losing their lives, home and livelihood,” she said.

“It is time for everyone to come together to support those affected. This natural catastrophe will definitely take a toll on the already fragile economy of Pakistan.

“I appeal to all politicians to set aside all their differences and focus on providing relief to the affected and rebuilding Pakistan.”

Hiba Jamal, another Dubai resident, said she is devastated after seeing the events unfold in Pakistan.

“We, as Pakistanis here in the UAE, are in deep sorrow for those who lost their homes and loved ones,” she said.

“My family is safe but it still it feels like we are losing loved ones.

“We ask all Pakistanis to donate for all our brothers and sisters in this time of need.”

On Saturday, President Sheikh Mohamed ordered 3,000 tonnes of food supplies and other humanitarian aid to be delivered to Pakistan.

The UAE aid includes about 3,000 tonnes of food supplies, as well as more medical and pharmaceutical items, in addition to tents and shelter materials.

Teams from the UAE will also provide humanitarian support.

In a tweet on Sunday, Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Minister for Climate Change, said the country must "plan for adaptation to climate shocks after this round of catastrophic floods is over".

"But really no one could have seen the unrelenting cycles of monsoon torrents crash down week after week, inundating huge swathes of the country," she added.

Updated: August 29, 2022, 6:49 AM
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