Queen ‘deeply saddened’ after more than 1,000 deaths in Pakistan floods
he Queen has said she is “deeply saddened” by widespread flooding that has claimed more than 1,000 lives in Pakistan this summer.
The country has seen exceptionally heavy monsoon rains which have triggered flash floods, affecting 33 million people and damaging nearly one million homes.
The death toll is reported to be at least 1,061 people.
In a message to the country’s president, Arif Alvi, the Queen said: “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.”
The message, released by Buckingham Palace, was signed “Elizabeth R”.
Pakistani authorities said the devastation is worse than in 2010 when 1,700 people were killed by floods.
Qamar Javed Bajwa, current Chief of the Army Staff in Pakistan, said on Sunday that the country may take years to recover.
Last week, the United Nations said it had allocated £2.6 million for UN aid agencies and their partners in Pakistan to respond to the floods.
Pakistan’s climate minister, Sherry Rehman, said the country has suffered heavier rains this year mainly because of climate change.
The unprecedented rains have affected all four of the country’s provinces, destroying more than 150 bridges and washing away numerous roads, making rescue operations difficult.
At least 6,500 soldiers have been drafted in to help civilian authorities in rescue and relief operations across the country.
Prime Minister Shabaz Sharif visited a number of flood-damaged areas in the north-west of the country on Monday and has said the government will provide housing for those who have lost their homes.