Army rescues 54,000 stranded: ISPR

The Pakistan Army has rescued over 54,000 stranded people in the last five days, spokesman ISPR said Tuesday


Express/reuters August 03, 2010

The Pakistan Army has rescued over 54,000 stranded people in the last five days, a spokesman of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday.

The flood victims were rescued from Multan, Muzaffargarh, Kot Addu, Nowshera, Swat, Kalam, Layyah, Rahimyar Khan, DI Khan, Gilgit, Pattan, Dasu and Mansehra areas.

Some 40 helicopters and 450 army boats are participating in the continuing rescue activities in the wide spread areas of the country.

Rescue efforts are continuing in Swat, Kalam, Madian and Khawazakhela where most of the link-bridges on Swat River have been washed away, said a new release, adding that 21 army helicopters have been employed to rescue stranded people.

More Helicopter efforts have been diverted to rescue the people from Kalam and provide rations to the marooned masses.

The army is also providing cooked food to the flood affected people at Army relief camps, set up at various places. Army engineers are busy in opening roads and making diversions to facilitate the flow of traffic.

Pakistan Army doctors and paramedical staff are providing necessary medical assistance to the patients.

Three million affected by Pakistan floods: Unicef

The worst floods in memory in Pakistan have affected more than 3 million people so far and the death toll has climbed over 1,400, a spokesman for the UN Children's Fund said on Tuesday.

Abdul Sami Malik said 1.3 million people were severely affected by the floods in the northwest, triggering heavy criticism of the government over its response to the disaster.

Authorities are struggling to help victims of the flooding, many of whom have lost their homes and livelihood and say they had not received any official warnings that raging waters were heading their way.

Malik said aid agencies and government officials will meet on Tuesday to determine whether to make an urgent international appeal for help.

Authorities expect the death toll to rise, with forecasts of more of the heavy monsoon rains that have been lashing the area for the past week. Pakistan's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said more than 29,500 houses were damaged and a key trade highway to China was blocked by flooding.

Waters have receded in some flooded areas. But Malik expressed concern that waters were spreading from the worst hit province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Pakistan's Punjab heartland, the major food-producing province, as well as the Sindh region.

"They are affected. What we have heard from Punjab is that 50,000 people have already been displaced and 200,000 people are being evacuated from Sindh," he said.

"In case of further rain, they expect that out of 23 districts in Sindh 19 will be affected."

Officials said it was too early to estimate the damage the floods had caused to the economy, but the rains had so far spared the main agricultural heartland in the Punjab.

"The entire infrastructure we built in the last 50 years has been destroyed," said Adnan Khan, spokesman for the provincial Disaster Management Authority in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Foreign aid pledged

Over $20 million in aid for flood has been pledged by various countries to Pakistan. The cash will be channeled through the Unicef and will be spent on efforts to help provide safe drinking water, toilets, sewage clearance and other measures.

Private aid

Numerous organisations are also working to help the victims of the flash floods in Pakistan.

COMMENTS (6)

Mansoor Khalid | 11 years ago | Reply Pakistan has always got assistance from international friends to cope up with its economical issues. Whether it was war on terror or natural disasters, our friend would provide us with fiscal and logistical support. The important thing is to make sure that this aid is used in the best possible ways.
Amna Zaman | 11 years ago | Reply @shazia. There is aid but one has to see that it is being utilized in the interest of the citizens. This is where I think an independent media role comes in. God bless these people!!
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