Pakistan Floods Kills More than 1,000 People
The number of deaths in northern Pakistan has risen to 1,100 deaths while more than 27,000 are still trapped struggling with the furious waters. The rescuers were helped by the decrease of the monsoon rains which destroyed the Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province. As the waters started to decrease the authorities managed to evaluate the damage. The UN estimates that 1 million people were affected by the flood and the monsoon rains in the whole country. The bad timing of the floods destabilizes the nation as Pakistan is fighting a war against the Taliban and the stuttering economy.
“Aerial monitoring is being conducted, and it has shown that whole villages have washed away, animals have drowned and grain storages have washed away,” said representative of the Provincial Disaster Management Authority Latifur Rehman. “The destruction is massive.”
The Obama administration is trying to sweeten up the relationship between the two countries and as a good faith gesture the US promised to Pakistan 10 million dollars in humanitarian aid.
A disaster management official, Adnan Khan said that the number of deaths would increase because the rescuers can not reach certain areas.
The Swat district and the Shangla district were affected by the floods registering more than 400 deaths, declared Mujahid Khan the chief of the rescue department in a private charity organization, Edhi Foundation.
The people in Swat district were still affected by a war with the Taliban forces that was last spring and which made 2 million people to leave their home. One million people were still not in a shelter when the flood came. In this district the flood destroyed 14,000 houses and 20 schools, declared Mujahid Khan.
The authorities have sent more than 100 boats and 43 helicopters to help in the rescue of the 27, 000 people that are still fighting with the raging waters, said Latifur Rehman.
“All efforts are being used to rescue people stuck in inaccessible areas and all possible help is being provided to affected people,” Rehman said.
The residents harshly criticized the government’s actions regarding the flood.
“The flood has devastated us all, and I don’t know where my family has gone,” Hakimullah Khan said, a man who resides in the town of Charsadda, who was angry about the actions of the government and accused that nobody helped him to search for his wife and children.
“Water is all around and there is no help in sight,” said the desperate man.
In the affected area was deployed 30, 000 military forces that helped to rescue 20, 700 people, stated the disaster management official to the press.
The people that were stranded complained that the government didn’t yet organize shelter for them until the waters regress.
“My son drowned, but I don’t see the government taking care of us,” Sehar Ali Shah from the city of Nowshera said. “The government has not managed an alternate place to shift us.”
The raging waters hit the province of Punjab in central Pakistan, where the military force managed to rescue 1, 500 people who were battling with the rising water, Ahmad Waqas said.
“We have lost everything: our houses, our crops, cattle,” Ahmad Hasan said from a government camp in Taunsa Sharif district.
The imminent problem is the diseases that will affect the survivors in the camps. Some people where brought to the camps with diarrhea, skin problems and fever.
“There is now real dangers of the spread of waterborne diseases like diarrhea, asthma, skin allergies and perhaps cholera in these areas,” Shaharyar Bangash said, the chief of operations from the World Vision, an international humanitarian foundation which operates in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.
A number of countries and humanitarian organizations have responded to the call of the people affected by the disaster.
In the northwest the US supplied food aid packages, rescue boats and water filters, said Rehman.
“This is much-needed stuff in the flood-affected areas and we need more of it from the international community,” he also said.
Prefabricated steel bridges will be provided by the US Embassy in Islamabad to replace those that are damaged by the flood.
The locals left with nothing are wondering if they will ever recover from such a big disaster.
“I won’t be able to cover my losses for 10 years,” declared Shair Dad, a local timber store owner in Nowshera who lost all the wood in the furious waters.
Will the Pakistani government and the international community help the people affected by the flood ?11