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Pakistanis flee as second wave of flood hits the country

Sunday, August 22, 2010 11:36:00 AM, Agencies

About 150,000 people fled to higher ground as flood hit new areas in Sindh's Shahdadkot district

 (Photo: AFP)

Over 12 million people affected by floods in Pakistan

About 12 million people have now been affected by Pakistan's worst floods in 80 years, disaster officials have said, raising previous estimates by three times.  »

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Islamabad/Karachi: A second wave of floods have inundated several areas in Balochistan even as the worst deluge in Pakistan’s history led to mass evacuation in Sindh regions where around 3.6 million people have been affected and over 600,000 displaced.


About 150,000 Pakistanis have been forced to flee their homes in southern Sindh province after floodwaters submerged more towns and villages in the region.


The cities of Shahdadkot, Qabu Saeed Khan, Mero Khan and Sajawal in Sindh were evacuated in the face of a flood torrent emanating from Garhi Kheru. The flood waters have already devastated hundreds of villages in the region.

A stream of lorries, tractors and donkey carts transported people away from the newly-affected areas on Saturday as floods spread over the rice-growing areas in the north of the province.

"We evacuated more than 150,000 people from interior parts of Sindh in the past 24 hours," Jamil Soomro, a spokesman for the provincial government, said.

Authorities struggled to shore up an embankment holding back a growing tide of water on the edge of Shahdadkot district as defences overflowed in other areas.

"People are saying it's dangerous to stay," Riaz Hussain, local resident, said as he finished packing his family and possessions, including two water buffalo, onto a trailer behind a tractor.

"I'll find some corner to live with my family."


Meanwhile, the Flood Forecasting Division warned that the Indus river was in “very high flood” at Kotri Barrage in Sindh and that the situation could take a turn for the worse in the next two to three days.

Flows of over 700,000 cusecs were recorded at Kotri on Saturday and officials said the river could flood nearby low-lying areas in the next few days.

In Balochistan, hundreds of thousands of people took shelter on rooftops and high ground after a high flood tide entered Gandhaka area of Jaffarabad district. The high flood in Mola river posed a threat to Jhal Magsi and Gandahwa areas.

Despite rescue missions mounted by army helicopters and boats, a large number of people were stranded in flooded areas. The flood waters destroyed hundreds of houses and washed away cattle and crops on thousands of acres.


Director Operations Disaster Management Authority (DMA) Sindh Khair Muhammad Kalhoro said that 3.684237 million people have become victims of the destruction unleashed by the devastating floods in Sindh.

The numbers show that the floods perished 126,216 livestock and ripe crops spreading on a land area of 1.555359 acres. The floods in Pakistan have caused a catastrophic calamity with around 2,000 people killed in the floods in the country.




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