Pakistan‘s foreign minister said the calamitous floods gripping the country are ‘a catastrophe on a scale that I have never seen’ as the death toll soared above 1,000 and an area the size of Britain faced going underwater. Tens of millions of Pakistanis have been forced to flee their homes as entire villages have vanished, with dramatic footage capturing hotel collapses, helicopter rescues and narrow escapes. Foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said this morning from his home in flood-ravaged province Sindh, south-eastern Pakistan: ‘Around me is just water, water and more water. There’s not much dry land to be found. We’ve suffered a devastating monsoon [with] floods from the sky that have been going on since the end of June.
The Queen’s letter to the President of Pakistan
I am deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of life and destruction caused by the floods across Pakistan.
My thoughts are with all those who have been affected, as well as those working in difficult circumstances to support the recovery efforts.
The United Kingdom stands in solidarity with Pakistan as you recover from these terrible events.
More than 20 of the 30 districts in the affected province, which is home to nearly 48 million people, have been declared ‘calamity-hit’, he added.
And 33 million households have been displaced or affected by the environmental disaster – well over the 20 million people forced to move during the 1947 Partition, Mr Zardari said.
He added: ‘We’ve experienced floods and monsoons before but this has really engulfed us all.’
The death toll this morning reached 1,061, including 28 deaths in the past 24 hours, the National Disaster Management Authority said. They said 119 died on Saturday.