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Thousands flee as fresh floods inundate Sindh, Balochistan

A fresh wave of floods forced thousands of people to flee their homes in southern Pakistan on Monday amid warnings that the situation could be further exacerbated due to continuing monsoon rains.



Karachi/Lahore: A fresh wave of floods
forced thousands of people to flee their homes in southern
Pakistan on Monday amid warnings that the situation could be
further exacerbated due to continuing monsoon rains.

The swollen Indus river burst its banks in southern
Sindh province, inundating hundreds of cities and villages,
including Jacobabad, Dadu, Larkana and Naushero Feroze.

Military helicopters flew dozens of sorties to rescue
stranded people and airdrop supplies.

There was a fresh wave of flooding in southwestern
Balochistan, where waters submerged Jaffarabad, Nasirabad and
Dera Allahyar.

Thousands of villages were inundated, affecting some
500,000 people.

Many victims complained they had been without food and
water for up to five days.

A key rail link between Balochistan capital Quetta and
Jacobabad in Sindh was cut by the flood waters.

Authorities warned that a high flood tide was rapidly
heading towards Kotri Barrage in Sindh, with the water flow
increasing by 1,000 cusecs an hour.

Water flows of 800,000 cusecs were expected at Kotri
Barrage in Sindh, where army soldiers were deployed at high
risk areas.

The Indus is in "exceptionally high flood with rising
trend" between Guddu and Sukkur Barrages.

Pakistan`s worst floods have killed over 1,700 people
and affected 20 million people, leaving the government
struggling to rush relief to the victims.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the world
community to urgently step up aid for the victims.

A UN spokesman said 3.5 million children were at high
risk from waterborne diseases.

The government`s tardy response has sparked anger
among victims.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday acknowledged
that rehabilitation "would be an uphill task and would require
a huge amount of money and resources".

In Sindh, angry stick-wielding survivors blocked a
highway outside Sukkur city with stones and garbage and
demanded that the authorities should provide them relief.

There were also reports of protests in Punjab
province.

In the remote Gilgit-Baltistan region, officials said
they had received reports of shortage of food.

Over 120 people have died across the region due to
landslides and flash floods over the past two weeks.

The blockage of the Karakoram Highway since the last
week of July has resulted in the depletion of fuel supplies in
Gilgit-Baltistan.

The United Nations children`s agency UNICEF today
launched an appeal for USD 47 million to provide quick relief
and aid to millions of people affected by the worst floods in
Pakistan`s history.

Daniel Toole, the United Nations International
Children`s Emergency Fund`s Regional Director for South Asia,
launched the appeal to the international community and
donor agencies after visiting a relief camp in Charsadda
district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Hospitals, banks and hotels have been closed due to
lack of electricity, which has been cut off for over a week.

Though aid agencies and Pakistani NGOs have been
providing aid to thousands of victims every day, the scale of
the flooding has resulted in millions of people in remote
regions going without aid for days.

UN officials have confirmed the detection of cholera
in the northwest.

The incidence of diarrhoea and other waterborne
diseases too is high, they warned.

The UN has appealed for 460 million dollars for an
emergency response plan but officials have said more funds
will be needed for long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation
of entire communities that have been devastated by the floods.

In the northwest, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government
asked displaced families to return to their native areas as
the situation was conducive to their shifting despite the fact
that three rivers are in high floods.

The displaced people living in relief camps set up in
government schools had been asked to go back to their own
areas, said an official of the disaster management authority.

About 1,200 families were repatriated yesterday,
allowing authorities to close 13 relief camps.

Fifty per cent of the displaced people are ready to
return on Tuesday and the administration will provide them
ration, tents and necessary tools.

PTI

From Zee News

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