More rain hits Pakistan, deepening crisis for destitute families
Pakistan is evacuating families threatened with fresh floods as heavy rains worsened the monsoon disaster and hampered aid efforts on Saturday. RFI’s Ashraf Khan visited some flooded villages in a garrison town not far from Sakkr in Sindh province. He met families who were forced to leave everything behind them.
“They are complaining that they cannot rescue their cattle,” says Khan, “and so they have lost a lot of it.”
“These families cannot afford to live in settled areas so they lived on the riversides, but now the floods have inundated the whole area.”
In this rainy season, scattered storms are expected over the weekend and authorities in southern Sindh province have warned that a major deluge could hit impoverished river communities in the fertile basin.
The Federal Flood Commission estimates that some 250 thousand houses have been destroyed or damaged as have more than a million acres of crops. One million have been evacuated already, but three million are affected.
Many regions of Pakistan have been suffering for almost two weeks now and up to 15 million people are already affected.
Torrential rains were reported to be thrashing northwestern Khyber Pakhtun-khwa province. Helicopter aid services to some areas was suspended until the bad weather subsides.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has appealed for immediate international help and is due to visit flood-affected areas in Sindh today.
Countries including the US, Britain and China have pledged tens of millions of dollars in aid for victims of the nearly two-week-old disaster.
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