UN chief ‘never seen climate carnage’ like Pakistan floods

KARACHI: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that he has “never seen climate carnage” on such a scale as he toured parts of the Pakistan flooded, blaming richer nations for the devastation.
Nearly 1,400 people have died in floods the size of the UK and have wiped out crops and destroyed homes, businesses, roads and bridges.
According to the government’s flood relief center, Guterres said he hoped his visit would boost support for Pakistan, which has driven the temporary cost of the disaster to more than $30 billion.
“I have seen many humanitarian disasters in the world, but I have never seen a climate disaster of this scale,” he told a news conference in the port city of Karachi after witnessing the damage. worst in southern Pakistan.
“I simply have no words to describe what I saw today.”
Pakistan receives heavy rains – often destructive – during the annual monsoon season, which is critical to agriculture and water supplies.
But downpours not seen in decades, while rapidly melting glaciers in the north for months have put pressure on waterways.
“Richer countries have a moral responsibility to help developing countries like Pakistan recover from disasters like this, and adapt to build resilience to climate impacts without may repeat in the future,” Guterres said, adding that the G20 nations cause 80% of emissions today.
Pakistan is responsible for less than one percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but ranks eighth on a list compiled by NGO Germanwatch of the countries most vulnerable to extreme weather caused by climate change. caused by climate change.
About 33 million people have been affected by the floods, which have destroyed about two million homes and businesses, washed away 7,000 kilometers (4,300 miles) of roads and collapsed 500 bridges.
Guterres lamented the world’s lack of concern for climate change – especially industrialized nations.
“This is madness, this is mass suicide,” he said after arriving in Pakistan on Friday.
The effects of torrential rain were doubled – devastating flash floods on rivers in the northern mountains and slow accumulation in the southern plains.
“All the children, men and women are baking in this scorching heat. We have nothing to eat, no roof over our heads.” Rozina Solangia 30-year-old housewife who lives in a relocation camp nearby Sukkurtold AFP on Friday.
She said of the visit of the UN chief: “He has to do something for us poor people.
The meteorological office says Pakistan has received five times normal rainfall in 2022. Padidana small town in Sindh province, has been flooded by more than 1.8 meters (71 inches) since the monsoon began in June.
Water levels have risen much higher in areas where rivers and lakes have burst their banks, creating dramatic inland seas.
Thousands of makeshift campsites have mushroomed in the high ground to the south and west – often by road and rail in the waterscape.
With people and livestock crammed together, the camps were ripe for outbreaks, with many cases of mosquito-borne dengue fever, as well as scabies.
During his fast-paced travels, Guterres stopped at several of these makeshift camps and met desperate flood victims, including a woman who gave birth overnight.
Wearing a traditional Sindhi block print Ajrak shawl, he later examined it 4,500 years old UNESCO World Heritage site Mohenjo-daro, which has been affected by water due to incessant monsoon rains.

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