Second wave of floods hit Sindh, Balochistan

A second wave of floods inundated several areas in Balochistan on Friday.

Updated: Aug 21, 2010, 00:47 AM IST

Islamabad/Karachi: A second wave of floods
inundated several areas in Balochistan on Friday 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.

Flood water on Friday inundated new areas in Sindh where,
1,447 relief camps have set up where 610,614 affected are
taking refuge, according to officials.

The UN said "significantly more donor support" is
needed to provide relief to the millions of people affected by
the worst deluge in Pakistan`s history.

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.

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
today 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.

The Gandhaka grid station, government installations
and roads were submerged. There were also reports of flood
victims suffering from cholera and gastro-enteritis.

Hospitals and medical camps were facing an acute
shortage of medicines, officials said. There were also reports
of deaths from various areas. In Nowsheran Virkan, two boys
drowned while bathing in flood waters.

Due to inadequate disaster management planning the
situation in the relief camps set up in Karachi and on its
outskirts has also worsened with thousands said to be deprived
of basic facilities.

Rescuers recovered the bodies of two children from
flood waters near Basira town, 15 km from Muzaffargarh in
Punjab. The children were among the passengers of a bus that
had fallen into flood waters.

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.

In another tragic incident to compound matters two
women were killed in a stampede in a camp distributing free
food and Zakat money.

Police officials said that the two women died when
hundreds of poor women scrambled for free food and Zakat money
at a camp in Korangi in Sindh.

The camp was set up for women affected by the floods
and to distribute flour and food. Hundreds of women turned up
at the camp in a bid to get the bags of flour and money.

However, the situation turned chaotic following a
brawl among some of the women. Several women fell unconscious
due to suffocation.

They were rushed to Jinnah Hospital, where two of
them identified as Malooka and Shamsa, could not survive.
Last Ramazan, over a dozen women were killed and several
others wounded in a stampede which broke out in a narrow
street of Jodia Bazaar in the city.

The UN said that though the level of funding for
relief efforts had improved, "significantly more donor
support" was needed as the emergency was continuing to unfold
in Sindh and Balochistan provinces.

The UN also said the worsening security situation was
affecting relief efforts in Tank and Dera Ismail Khan
districts in the northwest.

Flood waters were receding in Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh
and Dera Ghazi Khan, the worst-hit districts in Punjab as the
swollen Indus river made its way south.

"There continues to be a need to significantly scale
up the response across all affected areas, and in particular
in Punjab and Sindh.

Though funding levels are now improving in key
sectors, the continuing threat of flooding in many areas and
the manner in which affected populations are spread across a
vast area persist as major operational challenges," the UN
said in a report.

The floods, which began at the end of July, have
killed around 2,000 people and affected 20 million.

Over 160,000 sq km have been affected by the flood
waters, which also destroyed 3.5 million houses.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation said around
200 000 cows, sheep, buffalo, goats and donkeys had been
confirmed as dead or missing but the final numbers will be
much higher, possibly in the millions.

Millions of surviving animals were facing severe feed
shortages, threatening generations of Pakistan`s livestock, it
said.

PTI