Saturday, August 07, 2010

Pakistan flooded area expands to the south

The flood waters in Pakistan are racing toward the south of the country sweeping away even more houses and crops. Heavy rains are now pounding the areas in the north that have already been flooded. Those affected by the flooding now exceed 14 million, while the death toll has risen to 1,600.

From this Reuters story that we found at the Malaysian Times, writers Asim Tanveer and Adrees Latifare give us the latest.

Districts in southern Sindh province were on high alert on Saturday as the water surged down the Indus river basin.

The floods have roared down from the north to the agricultural heartland of Punjab to Sindh along a trail more than 1,000 km (620 miles) long. Considerable damage was expected in mainly rural areas in Sindh.

At least four districts in Sindh were on high alert, said the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. U.N. officials said more than half a million people had been evacuated in Sindh, where those in low-lying areas near the Indus are most vulnerable.

Flooding was also taking a toll over the border in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, where rain was hampering rescue and relief efforts. Flash floods have killed at least 113 people in the Himalayan region of Ladakh.

Food supplies are becoming a serious issue. In many areas, drinking water wells are also full of mud.

"Our houses have been fully submerged. I kept putting my kid's toys in higher places in my house to protect them from water," said Rana Abdul Razzak, an engineer at a power station where about 100 flood victims had taken refuge on a roof.

"But I lost everything. I cannot tell you how bad it was to see those toys floating in the water."

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