UN says 13.8m people affected by floods

Published: August 9, 2010
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Authorities have ordered evacuation of people from areas in Punjab and Sindh as flood threats persist. PHOTO: REUTERS

Authorities have ordered evacuation of people from areas in Punjab and Sindh as flood threats persist. PHOTO: REUTERS

The United Nations said Monday that the massive floods have affected 13.8 million people and has eclipsed the scale of the devastating 2004 tsunami.whie

“This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake,” Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

He said the 13.8 million affected outstripped the more than three million hit by the 2005 earthquake, five million in the tsunami and the three million affected by the Haiti earthquake.

Martin Mogwanja, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Pakistan, called on relief operations “to be massively scaled up.”

Punjab Floods

Authorities ordered the evacuation of Muzaffargarh as flood water entered the city after cracks appeared in Muzaffargarh Canal.

Meanwhile, DG Khan’s road link with Punjab has also been severed. An estimated 40,000 residents are facing increasing difficulties in moving out of the area.

The Muzaffargarh Dike has also collapsed and the water is gradually moving towards Chowk Qureshi and Ada Baseer. The Safety line Teleri canal has been broken from Jaffarabad to allow water to drain out.

Evacuation of residents from the area has started however people are facing problems due to the lack of public transport.

A Special train has begun its services to evacuate people displaced by the floods.

Flood to pass through Rahim Yar Khan

Meanwhile, flood torrent in river Sindh has reached Guddu road near Kashmore after completely inundating the city of Bhong near Rahim Yar Khan.

The Rahim Yar Khan administration directed people living in Kot Sabzal, Machka, Kamu, Rahimabad and about 200 villages on the Sindh-Punjab border to evacuate.

Within 36 hours, over 150,000 people had shifted to safer and dry areas, while locals are trying to repair the embankment of Maluk Wali near Jamaldin Wali after it broke early morning.

Sources in the canal department said a 300,000 cusec flood torrent passing from Muzaffargarh will reach Rahim Yar Khan on August 11.

Situation in Sindh

Flood level at Sukkur Barrage decreased as 10 gates were opened to increase the outflow of water, while authorities also ordered to demolish the safety wall and encroachments around the barrage.

High flood was recorded in River Indus near Guddu and Sukkur areas. Water inflow at Guddu Barrage stands at approximately 1.49 million cusecs and outflow at 1.48 million cusecs.

Water inflow and outflow at Sukkur Barrage stands at 1.13 million cusecs.

Five breaches occurred in Begari Canal near Abad area of Jacobabad, causing the adjoining areas to submerge.

Rising levels in Kotri

Water level is increasing in Kotri Barrage and people living in the danger-zones of River Indus have started migrating to safer locations after the administration declared red alert the Kotri and Kacha areas.

On the other hand, the water level is increasing on the dykes of Hussainabad and Latifabad near Hyderabad.

Train service in the areas has also been badly affected by floods in Sindh.

Difficult recovery in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa

High-level floods persist in the rivers of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa following intermittent showers.

Excessive water has bloated the rainy streams as torrential rains continue in the mountainous areas of Swat.

Boat service and aid delivery has also been suspended due to the high level of flood in river Swat, while high floods have also been reported in the rivers of Charsadda and Nowshera areas.

Flood affectees are still waiting for government’s assistance amid heavy downpour. However, NGOs are providing as much relief as they can in the shape of tents, food, medicine and other essential items to the affected people.

Skardu Landslide

Forty bodies have so far been pulled from the rubble after major landslides and flooding hit areas of Skardu and District Ghanchay. The search for sixteen others is still underway.

Flood torrents of 296,000 cusecs have been recorded in River Indus near the area of Kachora, while rains have affected more than 60 kilometres of roads and 25 bridges in Baltistan region.

Around 120 houses have been completely destroyed while hundreds of houses were partially damaged.

Skardu’s road link with other areas has been disconnected for the last 15 days resulting in a food shortage in the area. Thousands are confined to their homes as a shortage of petroleum products has affected traffic on roads.

Flooding in Balochistan

Floods wreaked havoc in Balochistan by submerging many villages in the Loralai district including Loni and Suhbatpur areas.

Suhbatpur area came under threat after a safety dike burst, while several other villages were inundated and hundreds of people are still trapped in Sadozai, Sharqi Loni, Ghabi Loni, Wahvi Loni and Laki Loni areas.

Meanwhile, a mass exodus has been reported from Jacobabad, Shikarpur and Thal areas of Sindh province towards Jaffarabad under the imminent flood threat.

Rescue teams from the army, frontier corps and the police are evacuating flood victims and moving them to safer locations.

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