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Rain damages archaeological site in flood-hit Pakistan


Munir Ahmed
Associated Press

ISLAMABAD (AP) — In flood-stricken Pakistan, where an unprecedented monsoon season has killed hundreds, rains are now threatening a famous monument dating back 4,500 years, the site’s chief official said on Sept. 6. archaeological site.

The ruins of Mohenjo Daro, located in southern Sindh, near the Indus River, are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and considered one of the best-preserved urban settlements in South Asia. They were discovered in 1922, and its disappearance remains a mystery to this day, coinciding with the disappearance of ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations.

The Indus, a major river in this part of the world, has wreaked havoc with its turbulent currents as torrential rains and massive flooding wreaked havoc across much of Pakistan. At least 1,325 people were killed and millions lost their homes in the rough waters, with many experts blaming climate change for the unusually strong monsoon rains.

The site’s curator, Ahsan Abbasi, said the floods did not directly hit Mohenjo Daro, but record-breaking rains caused damage to the ruins of the ancient city.

“Several large walls built nearly 5,000 years ago have collapsed due to monsoon rains,” Abbasi told The Associated Press.

Dozens of construction workers have already started repairs under the supervision of archaeologists, he said. Abbasi did not give an estimated cost of Mohenjo Daro’s loss.

Abbasi said the site’s landmark “Buddhist Stupa” — a large hemispherical structure associated with worship, meditation and burial — remains intact. But the downpour damaged some exterior walls, as well as some of the larger walls that separate individual rooms or rooms.

Abbasi said that the civilization of Mohenjodaro, also known as the “hill of the dead” in local Sindhi, built an elaborate drainage system that was crucial to flooding in the past.

Although the floods have spread across Pakistan, Sindh is one of the worst-hit provinces.

Army engineers made a second cut on the banks of Pakistan’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Manacher, on Sept. 5 to release rising water levels in hopes of saving the nearby city of Sehwan from major flooding.

The lake has flooded dozens of nearby villages, forcing hundreds of families to rush out of their mud-brick houses, and many panicking.

Meanwhile, rescue operations continued on September 6, with troops and volunteers using helicopters and boats to move those trapped from the flooded area to the nearest rescue camp. Thousands of people already live in such camps, and thousands more are taking refuge on the roadside on higher ground.

Ghulam Sabir, 52, from a suburb of Sehwan, said he left his home three days after authorities told them to evacuate.

“I took my family to this…safer place,” said Sabir, who lives by the roadside where he camped. He responded to complaints from several other villagers that they had not received help from the government.

Sabir said he did not know if his home collapsed.

In a televised address, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif urged Pakistanis to donate generously to flood victims, most of whom depend on government help to survive. Sharif also repeatedly asked the international community to provide more aid to flood victims. He insists that Pakistan is facing a tragedy caused by climate change.

Since 1959, Pakistan has emitted about 0.4 percent of endothermic carbon dioxide, compared with 21.5 percent in the United States and 16.4 percent in China, according to several experts. Last week, UN Secretary-General António Guterres also called on the world to stop “sleepwalking” during the crisis.



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