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Deadly Storms Wreak Havoc in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Leaving Dozens Dead

Deadly Storms Wreak Havoc in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Leaving Dozens Dead

Dozens of people have been killed in Pakistan and Afghanistan due to lightning and heavy rains. In Pakistan, at least 50 people lost their lives as storms battered the country, prompting authorities to issue a high alert for emergency services. The death toll in both countries has surpassed 80.

Most of the fatalities occurred in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where torrential rains and flash floods caused landslides, destroyed homes, and uprooted trees. The provincial disaster management authority reported 21 deaths in the region, with additional rainfall expected in the coming days.

The capital city of Islamabad and southwestern Baluchistan province also experienced casualties from the severe weather, with seven people killed in Baluchistan. Streets in cities like Peshawar and Quetta were flooded, prompting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to order relief aid and declare a state of emergency in the southwest of the country.

In Afghanistan, heavy flooding from seasonal rains claimed the lives of 33 people and left 27 others injured. More than 600 houses were damaged or destroyed, along with significant agricultural land and road infrastructure. Flash floods affected 20 out of the country’s 34 provinces, with nearly 23,000 families receiving aid.

Pakistan Peoples Party chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, attributed the surge in lightning incidents to climate change, emphasizing Pakistan’s vulnerability to the impacts of global warming. In 2022, the country experienced devastating floods, described as a “monsoon on steroids” by UN chief Antonio Guterres, which resulted in over 1,700 deaths and affected millions of people.

Authorities have warned of more severe weather on the horizon, urging emergency services to remain vigilant as the region braces for further storms.
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Long-Term Implications of Storms in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Long-Term Implications of Storms in Pakistan and Afghanistan

The recent storms in Pakistan and Afghanistan have caused significant loss of life and destruction. The long-term implications of these natural disasters are profound and require proactive measures to mitigate future risks and protect vulnerable populations.

1. Climate Change Impact

The surge in lightning incidents and severe weather events, as highlighted by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, underscores the impact of climate change on the region. It is crucial for both countries to prioritize climate adaptation and resilience measures to address these challenges.

2. Vulnerability to Climate Change

Pakistan’s vulnerability to climate change, despite its minimal contribution to global emissions, underscores the urgent need for international support and cooperation. The country must invest in sustainable development strategies and disaster preparedness to protect its population from future climate-related disasters.

3. Infrastructure and Disaster Response

The recent storms have exposed weaknesses in infrastructure and disaster response systems in both countries. It is imperative for the governments to invest in resilient infrastructure, early warning systems, and emergency preparedness to minimize the impact of future disasters.

4. Regional Cooperation

Collaboration between Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as with regional and international partners, is essential to address the shared challenges posed by climate change and natural disasters. Joint efforts in disaster management, resource sharing, and capacity building can enhance resilience in the region.

5. Sustainable Development Goals

Aligning disaster risk reduction efforts with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can help both countries achieve sustainable development and resilience against climate-related disasters. Prioritizing environmental protection, community engagement, and sustainable livelihoods can contribute to long-term resilience.

In conclusion, the recent storms in Pakistan and Afghanistan serve as a stark reminder of the urgent need to address climate change and build resilience against natural disasters. By taking proactive measures, investing in sustainable development, and fostering regional cooperation, the countries can safeguard their populations and build a more resilient future.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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