Floods Leave 1 Million Homeless In Pakistan|
Updated:7/2/2007 6:21 PM
By Zarar Kahn, Associated Press
KARACHI, Pakistan — Pakistan called on the
international community to rush aid to some 1 million people left homeless
by massive flooding amid forecasts Monday that still more rain would be
dumped on the stricken areas in coming days.
Floods due to a cyclone and rain since June 23 have
left as many as 211 people dead in two provinces of southern Pakistan, a
senior relief official said Monday, but unofficial estimates are
Some 500 people have died across the subcontinent —
in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan — since the start of the monsoon season
in early June.
Following a two-day tour of the flooded area Sunday,
Pakistan Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz asked for relief and rehabilitation
aid from foreign countries, international agencies and private donors.
He said more helicopters would be added to army
efforts to ferry food, medicine and other relief supplies to areas of
Baluchistan province which was hit by Cyclone Yemyin last Tuesday.
The military said Pakistani and Chinese engineers had
reopened the Karakoram Highway, which runs between the two countries. The
road link was severed by heavy, rain-spawned landslides near the
15,528-foot Khunjrab Pass.
The flooding also has spread in recent days into
adjacent Sindh province to the east, where some 20,000 people were
rendered homeless in Shahdad Kot district after waters from a canal
spilled over protective embankments, provincial relief commissioner Munir
Ahmed said Monday.
Tariq Ayub, Baluchistan's home secretary, who is
overseeing the flood relief operation, said many of the casualties
occurred due to drowning and people getting trapped under the debris of
their collapsing homes in 13 hardest-hit Baluchistan districts.
Among the dead were 42 people who drowned Saturday in
a stream flooded by rains and waters from a breached dam in Khuzdar
district, Ayub said.
He said more than 100 other people were missing in
The state-run Pakistan Meteorological Department
forecast "widespread heavy rains" and storms in both Sindh and Baluchistan
over the next four days.
Farooq Ahmed Khan, who heads Pakistan's National
Disaster Management Authority, said 211 people died in the two provinces —
111 in Baluchistan and 100 in Sindh, mainly in Karachi, the provincial
But local relief workers in Karachi say that at least
228 died in Karachi on June 23.
Khan said some 204 people are missing, including 29
fishermen in Sindh.
Relief efforts were expected to continue over the
next three months after which rehabilitation work would start, he
In the Baluchistan city of Turbat, one of the
worst-affected areas, doctors reported an influx of patients, many of them
children, suffering from nausea, diarrhea and other water-borne
"They are drinking contaminated water," said Abdul
Qadir, one of the physicians.
Original article: USA Today - Weather
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