Half million flee as Pakistan floods spread / PHOTO

Pakistani authorities have evacuated more than half a million people in Sindh province, threatened by the worst floods in 80 years.

Half million flee as Pakistan floods spread / PHOTO

Pakistani authorities have evacuated more than half a million people in Sindh province, threatened by the worst floods in 80 years.

President Asif Ali Zardari may have made the costliest political mistake in his career by leaving for state visits in Europe at the height of the disaster which swallowed up entire villages, killed over 1,600 people and devastated millions.


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Floods have already spread to Sindh but much heavier waters threaten to inflict far worse suffering.

"Monsoon rains continue to fall and at least 11 districts are at risk of flooding in Sindh, where more than 500,000 people have been relocated to safer places and evacuation still continues based on the Meteorological Department's alerts," said the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair.


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Meteorologist Hazrat Mir said on Thursday flood waters were moving at high levels in north Sindh province and would enter the town of Sukkur by Saturday. Those in low-lying areas of the Indus river are most vulnerable.

"There have been constant rains which have aggravated the situation in the areas already struck by floods," said Saleh Farooqui, the director general of the provincial Disaster Management Authority.


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"People had to leave their homes because of floods and they now also have to face problems because of rains."

Those who have not been evacuated can only wait for what are likely to be raging waters like the ones which ravaged the northwest and the agricultural heartland Punjab.

The Pakistani military, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its history, has led Pakistani flood relief efforts since state relief agencies don't have the resources to cope.

In a typical scene, army helicopters fly above roofs of houses to pull up people stuck there since entire villages were submerged. But there is only so much the military can do.


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Across the country, many Pakistanis fend for themselves. Many are out in the open and are likely to be displaced again. They face the same plight as cattle-breeder Khair Mohammad.

"We don't have anything, no one has given us even a single penny," said cattle breeder Khair Mohammad, under a drizzle, after two hours of rains which poured down earlier suggested his problems are far from over.

Some distance away, an elderly woman who fractured her leg while leaving her flooded house sat on a portable wooden bed, wondering, like so many others, if help will ever come.



Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Ağustos 2010, 15:30

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