SUKKUR: At least 71 people have died in Sindh from August 12 to 18 in the torrents that have ravaged the province. At least 18 of the 71 were children who died of gastroenteritis in Larkana, Shikarpur, Pannu Aqil, Kashmore and Karachi, according to unofficial estimates.
Others were swept away by the floodwater while some drowned after rescue boats capsized.
Five children die, 12 faint at relief camps
In Karachi, three children died and 12 others fainted due to various diseases at a relief camp in Gulshan-e-Maymar on Wednesday. The bodies of the children, two-and-a-half year old Ali Soomro, Reshma, 4, and a four-year-old unidentified boy, were buried in the Edhi graveyard while those who fainted were taken to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. However, Gadap Town health officer Khalil Ahmed Ansari refuted any such incident at the camp.
Meanwhile, two other children died of gastroenteritis in the Ahsanabad relief camp. Unavailability of clean drinking water at the camp has caused an outbreak of waterborne diseases.
Talking to Daily Express, Sindh health minister Dr Sagheer Ahmed said that at least 40 children suffering from diarrhoea and gastroenteritis were admitted to hospitals in Karachi. There are about 106 pregnant women in the relief camps, he said, adding that female doctors have been assigned for them.
The army and villagers tried to divert floodwater from Garhi Khairo town and towards the kachcha areas of Kambar-Shahdadkot district on Wednesday.
The water gushing out of the breaches of Beghari canal was heading towards Garhi Khairo town, due to which more than 50 per cent of the town’s population was forced to evacuate.
The road at the Jacobabad bypass was also cut to save the city and hence the water, after inundating Osta Mohammad town, was heading towards Garhi Khairo and was just a kilometre away when they changed the water’s course in a bid to save their town.
Meanwhile, Sultankot town of district Shikarpur is completely underwater but all the residents had earlier moved to safer places. But Shikarpur city is safe. Earlier, some floodwater had entered into the Lodra grid station because of which power supply was shut down. However, the grid station is now operative and water has started receding.
A 20-foot wide breach that had occurred in an embankment near the Dadu-Moro bridge is widening every day and is now 75 feet. Meanwhile, according to Dadu officials, the water level near the bridge has started receding.
The National Highway between Punjab and Sindh is partially closed near Kot Sabzal due to the breach that occurred in the Bhong embankment. Many kachcha areas of Raunti are also underwater.
CM visits Pannu Aqil
Meanwhile, Sindh chief minister Qaim Ali Shah visited Pannu Aqil. He went to Soomra Patan and offered his condolences to the families who had lost their loved ones in a boat accident two days ago. The chief minister announced a compensation of Rs200,000 for each of the victims’ families.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2010.
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