Floods kill 1,400, maroon 30,000 in Pakistan
Continuing floods and monsoon rains have reportedly killed more than 1,400 people and marooned another 30,000 in three of the five provinces in Pakistan as of Sunday, Xinhua reported.
The new string of monsoon rains would enter Pakistan by Monday evening, Chief Meteorologist Muhammad Riaz predicted on Sunday. The heavy rains would hit Lower and Central Sindh areas of Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Sukkur, Upper part of Balochistan, Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, he said in an interview with the local media.
"River floods entering Sindh would be there in next four days," said Riaz, adding " it would be devastating" as the concerned authorities are taking preventive measures.
All Pakistani rivers are in high-level floods which would continue to pass through various areas of the country during the week spreading misery, deaths and breaking out epidemics. Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that the forthcoming rain and floods would affect some 400,000 people in the southern province.
The United Nations, United States and China are in the forthcoming to extend assistance for flood relief and rescue as Pakistan appealed to the international community for help to deal with the natural calamity.
The Chinese Embassy in Islamabad has extended an immediate token assistance of Rs. 600,000 for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Over 200 Chinese engineers and workers have been rescued from floods in projects in Malakand area.
The United Nations agencies estimated a million people were affected by the calamity, over 45 link-bridges destroyed and some 3,700 homes washed away in Pakistan so far.
Some 21 military helicopters and over 150 boats are participating in the rescue work across the country as more battalions of military and rangers have been deployed in the sensitive areas of southern Sindh province which is not yet all prepared to brace the forthcoming high-level floods expected to pass through the Indus River by Thursday.
Chief ministers of both the worst-hit northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and eastern Punjab province are touring their respective provinces almost the entire day supervising relief and rescue operations.
Whereas Pakistani military chief General Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani, who is extending an all-out support to relieve the troubled civilians and save precious lives, toured the terribly-hit Swat valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is experiencing floods and rains for the past six days. The summer vacations in schools in Swat valley have been extended for another two weeks.
At least 116 bodies have been recovered in Swat. Over 5,000 tourists were trapped in Naran area. Following public pressure heavy earth-moving machines were used to clear the landslide- affected roads. Some 250,000 cusecs of water has been recorded in the Swat River, the highest since 1929.
The Azakhel Afghan refugee camps in Nowshehra in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have completely been washed away,leaving many people beg for mercy, food and shelter. Almost two meters of waters have accumulated on the roads in part of the province, which have seriously disrupted land communication.
Some 12,000 people trapped in Nowshehra have been rescued while in Charsaddah a MI-17 military helicopter airlifted an expecting mother in labor pain who gave birth to a baby boy. The first spell of monsoon started in Pakistan's southwest province of Balochistan on July 22, which killed over 60 people and rendered some 30,000 people homeless.