Pakistan floods are 'a monsoon on steroids': U.N.

STORY: U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres described the floods as "epochal" in a video message to launch the appeal.

The historic deluge, mainly triggered by abnormal monsoon rains, has killed more than 1,100 people, affected 33 million, and destroyed homes, businesses, infrastructure and crops.

Early estimates put the damage from the floods at more than $10 billion, the government has said, adding that the world had an obligation to help Pakistan cope with the effects of man-made climate change.

Guterres said the $160 million he hoped to raise with the appeal would provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education and health support - adding that more action had to be taken to combat the effects of climate change.

"Let us all step up in solidarity and support the people of Pakistan in their hour of need. Let’s stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet by climate change. Today, it’s Pakistan. Tomorrow, it could be your country," he said.