Declan Walsh in Islamabad
More than 250,000 cases of suspected malaria, including some of the fatal falciparum strain, have been reported, according to the WHO. Photograph: Declan Walsh for the Guardian Read more »
The country lost 2.39 million metric tons of rice and 10.4 million tons of standing sugar cane, the minister said in an interview today in Islamabad. The nation may also import 2.8 million bales of cotton, he said. Read more »
3.5 millon children at risk , economy and exports to contract as losses could exceed $15bn
Pakistan seeks restructuring of $10bn IMF loan as the United Nations urges help and raises $500 million
On Aug. 21, around 150,000 Pakistanis in Sindh province were evacuated to higher ground because of the swollen Indus River, a government spokesman said. Officials expect the floodwaters to recede nationwide in the next few days as the last river torrents empty into the Arabian Sea. But survivors may find little left when they return home – the waters have washed away houses, roads, bridges and crops, and leaving millions homeless and penniless. In Sindh, there are already 600,000 people in relief camps set up during the flooding. Read more »
Bloomberg: Pakistan’s most destructiveflood in memory surged south toward Hyderabad, the biggest city in its path, as the government and aid agencies said they are unable to reach or help many of the 14 million uprooted so far.
Officials in Hyderabad, an industrial city of more than 1.6 million people, evacuated residents from low-lying areas as the Indus River threatened to breach the Kotri Barrage, about 8 kilometers (5 miles) northwest from the city center. About 1,600 people are known to have died in Pakistan, and hundreds more in India and Afghanistan, from the flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains, officials in the three countries say.
“God forbid that the dam should break because we have two to two-and-a-half million people in and around Hyderabad who are at risk,” said Aftab Ahmed Khatri, the city administrator. “We are shifting people from the riverside to relief camps,” he said in a telephone interview.
The flood has submerged an area as large as Lebanon, overwhelming relief efforts by the government and UN agencies.
In Baluchistan province, “our stockpiles are nearly exhausted,” and trucks hauling tents have been blocked for a week by flooded roads, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said in an e-mailed message. In the northwest, the death toll may rise sharply as more bodies are discovered, Mujahid Khan of the Edhi
rescue service said by phone from Peshawar, the region’s main city.
With more than 10,000 square kilometers (4,000 square miles) of Pakistan under water, the agency has delivered tents to communities that have no dry land on which to pitch them, UNHCR said.
The flood is “Pakistan’s worst natural disaster” since the country’s creation 63 years ago, and has set back the nation’s development by many years, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday. The United States and Islamic militant groups, both pushing for influence in the world’s sixth-most
populous country, have sent teams to help homeless villagers in areas of the ethnic Pashtun northwest that for the past two years have been combat zones.
Pakistan’s Qadirpur gas field, 190 kilometers (118 miles) north of Hyderabad, was shut down after being submerged in floodwater, deepening Pakistan’s electricity deficit by 1,500 megawatts, Power Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf told reporters in Islamabad today.
Officials say the flood’s worst damage may be done at Hyderabad, Pakistan’s sixth-largest city, and the biggest population center directly on the 3,200-kilometer long Indus River. The city is home to textile mills and assembly plants for motorcycles and cars.
Along with Karachi, the port city and financial capital 175 kilometers to the southwest, Hyderabad has been repeatedly damaged by floods, in part because of poor urban drainage systems, according to a February report by the National Disaster Management Authority.
Still, the annual monsoon flooding has been relatively minor in the most recent years, said Khatri, the Hyderabad administrator, leading impoverished residents to build cheap mud-brick homes on the Indus flood-plain that officials are now evacuating. The Indus may risk breaching the Kotri Barrage today or tomorrow said a warning on the website of the Pakistan Meteorological Department.
Cotton, rice, sugarcane and maize crops have been damaged and fruit orchards have been washed away, putting at risk the government’s farm output growth target of 3.8 percent for the year that started July 1.
The floods have destroyed 30 percent of the cotton crop, according to Khursheed Ahmed Khan Kanjo, president of the Pakistan Kissan Board, a farmers’ group. The government will miss its target of producing 14 million bales of cotton and may need to increase imports, he said.
Flooding also damaged 20 percent of the rice crop in Sindh, said Abdul Majeed Nizamani, president of the Sindh Abadgar Board.
Half the red chilli and tomato plantations and 70 percent of the onion crop were also damaged.
The UN Children’s Fund is planning to deliver 4.2 million packets of oral rehydration salts and 2.1 million doses of zinc to children in Pakistan to prevent a potential outbreak of measles, the UN said. Donors have so far provided $38.2 million to the UN and its partners and pledged a further $90.9 million, the world body said.
Floods have left many areas beyond outside help or communication, knocking out cell phone towers and ripping away roads. Thousands are without electricity after grid stations and transformers collapsed, Pakistani television reported.
Pakistan’s army is leading the relief effort, evacuating people, distributing drinking water and food and repairing bridges and roads, the military said in a statement on its website yesterday. Army field hospitals and medical camps have been set up and 930 boats and eight helicopters are being used
in the rescue effort, it said.
The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
By Talat Farooq
Flooding of this magnitude would be a daunting challenge for any country but for Pakistan, already submerged in terrorism and poverty, such a natural disaster quickly transforms into a catastrophe that grows with every passing day and whose social and economic repercussions will continue to haunt the country long after the waters have receded. Read more »
The last week of July 2010, heavy rains caused extensive flooding in most parts of Balochistan Province. On August 2, the Relief International (RI) field team assessed five districts in Balochistan to determine emergency needs and priorities. RI’s field team found that the most vulnerable populations at present are elders and children. Most of the population in the flood-affected areas have left their villages due to fear of additional flooding and are seeking shelter elsewhere as remaining standing water is making temporary shelter near their homes impossible. Read more »
Click here to download original full report by Relief International;
The recent floods in Pakistan have resulted in devastation across the country. On July 27, heavy rains started falling on most parts of Khyber Paktoonkwha (KPK) Province, impacting more 1.5 million people, and severe damage to 156,934 homes.Due to the inaccessibility of many affected areas, agencies are still determining specific data regarding the magnitude of the destruction. August 3 to 6, the RI team in KPK collected primary data in KPK. Read more »