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Pakistan: Monsoon Floods - DREF Final Report (MDRPK019)

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Description of the disaster

Every year Pakistan experiences heavy monsoon rains which often result in floods and devastation. The year 2020 was no exception, where the monsoon season started with heavy downpour in the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan on 6 August and continued until 7 August 2020 with small intermissions. Continuous rain for 24 hours caused massive flooding in many parts of the country.

Karachi, Hyderabad, Shaheed Benazirabad and Dadu districts of Sindh province were severely affected by these floods. Furthermore, Kacchi, Sibbi, Harnai, Naseerabad, Jaffarabad and Jhal Magsi districts of Balochistan province were also affected, of which Jhal Magsi and Jaffarabad districts were the most affected. It was reported that the floods not only damaged the infrastructures and houses in these areas but also badly affected the standing crops.

Another heavy spell of monsoon rains hit most of the country in late August and continued until early September 2020 with intervals, which resulted in urban flooding in Karachi and other parts of Sindh. Flash floods were also reported in districts Shangla and Swat and extensive flooding in district Charsadda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. Karachi experienced the heaviest of rains in almost a century, killing 41 people and severely affecting thousands of people in the city. People were without electricity for prolonged periods as urban flooding badly affected the infrastructure in the city as well. The second spell of flooding enhanced the misery of people and caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. Despite the best efforts of the government, the living conditions of the displaced were appalling, with very limited access to clean drinking water, food, medicines, and safe shelter. The livelihoods of rural communities were also devastated by these floods as they lost their houses, crops, and livestock.

According to NDMA figures , around 1,193,353 people were directly or indirectly affected by these floods across the country, with 134, 672 houses fully damaged while 170,479 partially damaged. Besides damages to the infrastructure, a total of 409 casualties were also reported during the 2020 monsoon season in Pakistan. The government established 217 relief camps while providing 103,570 tents along with other items to the most affected population.

Apart from the floods, the COVID-19 outbreak was also a pertinent threat to the affected population. However, the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported by then in the targeted districts was still considered small. As of 7 September 2020, Dadu district reported 1,184 positive cases, Jhal Magsi and Jaffarabad reported 328 and 71, respectively. Nevertheless, during the operation, the COVID-19 cases jumped drastically and the government then imposed restrictions across the country.