Gilani says 20 mn hit by floods in Pakistan
Pak`s PM Yousuf Raza Gilani said 20 million people had been affected by the country`s worst ever floods as the nation cut back most of the functions organised to mark the Independence Day.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf
Raza Gilani today said 20 million people had been affected by
the country`s worst ever floods as the nation cut back most of
the functions organised to mark the Independence Day to
concentrate on relief.
Expresing a resolve that Pakistani would cope with
its worst calamaity, Gilani, addressing the nation to mark the
day said "the floods have affected 20 million people,
destroyed standing crops and food storages worth billions of
dollars causing a colossal loss to the national economy."
Appealing to the world community to extend an helping
hand, the prime minister in his televised speech said, "this
is the worst ever calamity for us and the entire nation will
show courage to face it."
As the United Nations confirmed cases of outbreak of
waterborne diseases like cholera due to floods, Gilani said
"outbreak of epidemics in the flood hit area was a serious
threat, which can compound further the already grave
He said the worst ever floods in country`s history
have killed 1,384 people, injured 1,630 injured and according
to initial estimates damaged over 0.7 million homes.
However, the government was able to rescue over 4
lakhs marooned people.
He said, the Pakistani economy had already suffered
colossal losses due to relentless war against terrorism.
Gilani said the scale of destruction by the floods
was much bigger than the tsunami.
"I appeal to the world community to extend a
helping hand," Gilani said.
He said the floods have played havoc in Khyber
Pukhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh, Pakistan-occupied-
Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and other parts of the country and
the political leadership and all government departments were
busy to mitigate sufferings of the flood affectees.
He said, 57 helicopters and 912 boats were evacuating
the stranded people to safer places and the government has so
far evacuated 398,390 people to safer places.
He said, the rains followed by flood initially
impacted Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pukhtukhwa and Balochistan
and were the focus of relief work but it had to be stretched
across the country as floods entered Punjab and Sindh.
He said the government canceled all Independence
Day celebrations to express solidarity with the flood-victims.
All Ramazan iftar dinners and eid celebrations have
also been canceled so that the money could be spent for the
flood-victims, he added.