Canada issues travel warning for Pakistan amid severe flooding: ‘Be very careful’ – National
Canada’s government issued a new travel notice on Saturday for citizens traveling to Pakistan as severe flooding caused by monsoon rains continues to wreak havoc across much of the South Asian country.
“There are certain safety and security issues or the situation could change quickly. Be very careful at all times, keep an eye on the local media and follow the instructions of the local authorities,” the government said in a statement. website.
Travelers are advised to: “exercise a high degree of caution.”
On Saturday, Pakistani officials said the floods have killed nearly 1,000 people since mid-June and injured or displaced thousands.
The new death toll came a day after Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif called for international help to fight deadly damage from flooding in the impoverished Muslim country.
According to the Government of Canada travel report, there has been damage to roads, bridges and other infrastructure disrupting essential services in Pakistan. These include transportation, water and food supply, telecommunications networks, emergency services and medical care.
Canada is advising travelers to stay away from affected areas, including parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (PK), Sindh and Balochistan, and to follow local news and weather reports and follow instructions from local authorities.
The monsoon season, which started in June, has ravaged Pakistan with particularly heavy rains this year and rescuers are struggling to evacuate thousands of stranded people from flood plains. Due to the crisis, the government has declared a state of emergency.
In northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, floods destroyed the gates of a major water control system on the Swat River, leading to flooding in Charsadda and Nowshera districts, said Sania Safi, a top Charsadda administrator.
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“We have anticipated the situation and warned and forced reluctant residents to leave their homes for safety and move to shelters located in safe areas in government buildings,” she said.
Safi said there were concerns about a further rise in the Swat and Kabul rivers, adding to the misery of residents who have already suffered loss of life and property.
In the Nowshera district, local administrator Quratul Ain Wazir said the water flooded the streets before rushing water to low-lying areas.
“Our government has evacuated many people and taken others to relief camps where government-provided beds and food are in safe buildings,” she said. “We will use the police to force those who hesitate to leave their homes.”
Information Minister Maryam Aurangzeb said soldiers and rescue organizations helped people get to safety in many districts in southern Sindh, northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, eastern Punjab and southwestern Baluchistan provinces.
“The government has sanctioned sufficient resources to financially compensate the affected people and we will not leave our people alone during this difficult time,” she said.
Aurangzeb asked wealthy people and aid organizations to provide assistance to help the flood-affected Pakistanis.
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In response to Sharif’s appeal for international aid, the United Nations planned a $160 million flash appeal for donations, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Asim Iftikhar. He said in his weekly briefing Friday that the appeal will be filed on August 30.
Thousands whose homes were swept away now live in tents miles from their flooded towns and cities, after being rescued by soldiers, local disaster workers and volunteers, authorities said.
The National Disaster Management Authority said in its latest overnight report that 45 people died in flood-related incidents from Friday to Saturday.
Monsoon rains are expected to continue this week, especially in the south and southwest. The season usually runs from July to mid-September in Pakistan.
– With files from The Associated Press