Authorities warn of more floods as heavy rains fall
16 Aug, 2010: Heavy rain lashed the makeshift camps housing
Pakistan's flood survivors Monday and authorities warned of
more flooding this week, adding to the urgency of the
massive international relief effort.
Pakistan's worst floods in recorded history began more than
two weeks ago in the mountainous northwest and have spread
throughout the country. Some 20 million people and 160,000
square kilometres of land — about 1/5 of the country — have
''Floods seem to be chasing us everywhere,'' said
45-year-old Ali Bakhsh Bhaio, as monsoon downpours pounded
his tent beside the major highway in Sukkur, a hard-hit area
in Sindh province.
The Sindh irrigation minister, Jam Saifullah Dharejo, said
the dam in Sukkur faced a major test of its strength as
floodwaters coursed down the Indus River into Pakistan's
highly populated agricultural heartland.
''The coming four to five days are still crucial,'' he said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew over the flood-hit
area Sunday and said he had never seen a disaster on such a
scale. He urged the international community to speed up
The world body has appealed for an initial $460 million to
provide relief, of which around 60 per cent has been given.
The latest flooding over the weekend hit a poor region on
the border between Sindh and Balochistan provinces.
Sher Khan Bazai, the top government official in Nasirabad
district, said 25,000 families had been made homeless by
waters eight feet high in some places. He said that some
4,000 small villages had been either cut off or washed out.
''Water is everywhere,'' he said.
Once the floods recede, billions more will be needed for
reconstruction and getting people back to work in the
already-poor nation of 170 million people. The International
Monetary Fund has warned that the floods could dent economic
growth and fuel inflation.
While local charities and international agencies have helped
hundreds of thousands of people with food, water, shelter
and medical treatment, the scale of the disaster has meant
that many millions have received little or no assistance.
The UN has voiced fears that disease in overcrowded and
unsanitary relief camps may yet cause more deaths..
Courtesy: The DAWN