Authorities in Pakistan are rushing to build a dike in front of a crucial power plant that provides electricity to millions of people in order to protect it from the growing threat of flooding, officials said on Monday.
33 million people have been affected by floods caused by unprecedented monsoon rains and glacial melt in the mountainous north, which have killed nearly 1,400 people and caused $30 billion in damages to homes, roads, railways, livestock, and crops.
Both the government and U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres have blamed climate change for the extreme weather that led to the flooding, which submerged nearly a third of the nation of 220 million.
The electricity station in the district of Dadu in the southern province of Sindh, one of the country’s worst affected areas, supplies power to six provincial districts.
Troops were busy strengthening a dike built in front of the station, a visit to the site showed on Sunday.
“All preventive measures have been taken already to save the grid in case any flooding happens,” Syed Murtaza Ali Shah, a top district official, told Reuters on Monday.
The comment followed orders from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, reported by state broadcaster Radio Pakistan, to ensure the 500kV power station did not get flooded.
U.N. agencies have begun work to assess the South Asian nation’s reconstruction needs after it received 391 mm (15.4 inches) of rain, or nearly 190% more than the 30-year average, in July and August.
Sindh received 466% more rain than average and all the flood waters pass through Dadu, a district with a population of 1.5 million, thanks to its location.