Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Pakistan on 'war footing' to save city

Pakistanis affected by the floods walk across the water in Thatta on August 29, 2010. Torrential monsoon rains have triggered massive floods that have moved steadily from north to south over the past month, engulfing a fifth of the volatile country and affecting 17 million of its 167 million people. Photo courtesy AFP.Oxfam urges immediate Pakistan floods reconstruction
Reconstruction efforts must begin immediately in Pakistan to prevent the flooding disaster from becoming a long-term catastrophe, aid agency Oxfam said Sunday. The British-based international charity said in a statement released here that billions of dollars would be needed to start rebuilding schools, roads, bridges and hospitals immediately, adding that the aid effort was struggling to respond. "One month into a crisis we would expected the situation to have stabilised and the long-term planning to have begun," said Neva Khan, Oxfam's country director in Pakistan.

"But we are still in phase one of an increasing catastrophe, evacuating people, providing them with shelter, trying to get clean water and sanitation to those people who need it. "Pakistan doesn't have the luxury of waiting for the emergency phase to be over before starting the reconstruction." Oxfam warned there was a danger that many farmers would miss the winter planting season in September. Meanwhile the clean-up operation would take months, meaning millions of people would be facing the colder months in temporary shelters, or out in the open, it said. Reconstruction efforts must look at ensuring Pakistan is better placed to cope with future crises, it added. "Rebuilding the country is a process that must be led by the Pakistani people. But they will need the help and support of the international community for many years to come," Khan said. "Nobody should expect the reconstruction process to happen overnight."
by Staff Writers
Thatta, Pakistan (AFP) Aug 29, 2010
Pakistani troops and workers were on a "war footing" Sunday as they battled to save the southern city of Thatta after most of the population of 300,000 fled advancing flood waters.

Torrential monsoon rains have triggered massive floods that have moved steadily from north to south over the past month, engulfing a fifth of the volatile country and affecting 17 million of its 167 million people.

Southern Sindh is the worst-affected province, with 19 of its 23 districts ravaged as flood waters swell the raging Indus river to 40 times its usual volume.

One million people have been displaced over the past few days and hundreds of thousands have already fled Thatta alone ahead of the approaching torrents as soldiers work frantically to repair breached levees on the river.

"The water is still two kilometres (about a mile) away from Thatta where the armed forces and the local administrative workers are working on war footing to save the city," senior city official Hadi Bakhsh Kalhoro told AFP.

"The army brought a maximum of resources to try to fill up the breach. Almost all the people have left Thatta to safer places, all shops and schools are closed."

Water levels were still rising in the district, but Kalhoro said: "We are hopeful that we can save at least Thatta city in two days."

An AFP reporter said the road linking Thatta with the town of Sujawal had been flooded and closed to all vehicular traffic, while Kalhoro said an electricity grid station near Sujawal had been flooded.

The military said its engineers had repaired an important embankment in the south and were trying to protect the highway linking Thatta with the main southern city of Karachi.

The Pakistani government has been overwhelmed by the magnitude of the disaster, the worst in the country's history, with millions in need of tents, food and medical aid.

But Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza said people were reluctant to go to relief camps because they feared there would not be enough supplies.

"People are not going to relief camps because they're afraid of the lack of food and medicine there," he told reporters Saturday.

"In Karachi we've set up a camp for 40,000 people, but so far not a single (displaced person) has turned up there."

Aid agencies are worried about the growing danger of malnutrition and water-borne disease, with children especially vulnerable.

Oxfam warned Sunday that reconstruction efforts must begin immediately to prevent the disaster from becoming a long-term catastrophe.

It said billions of dollars would be needed to start rebuilding schools, roads, bridges and hospitals, adding that the aid effort was struggling to respond.

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference said it would establish an office in Islamabad to help coordinate flood relief.

At the massive Kotri barrage embankment, which protects the southern city of Hyderabad, engineer Qadir Palijo said Sunday that water levels were falling.

"The water is slowly receding in Kotri but still increasing down in the south (towards Thatta). The process of recession of the water is slow but we hope the pace will increase in a couple of days," he told AFP.

Eight million people have been left dependent on aid for their survival and floods have washed away huge swathes of the rich farmland on which the country's struggling economy depends.

The government has confirmed 1,600 people dead and 2,366 injured, but officials warn that millions are at risk from food shortages and disease.

The United Nations has warned that 800,000 people in desperate need of aid had been cut off by the deluge across the country and appealed for more helicopters to deliver supplies to those reachable only by air.

A senior US official said last week that countries worldwide had pledged a total of more than 700 million dollars (554 million euros) towards flood relief in Pakistan.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Islamabad said Sunday some people had been forced to move repeatedly as the floods advanced.

"So many of the displaced have reportedly been displaced twice or more," said spokesman Maurizio Giuliano.

"The waters continue to devastate Sindh. Even without counting what is being devastated just now, 1.7 million acres of crops are lost and over 200,000 livestock died just in Sindh," Giuliano said.

"These figures are bound to rise in the coming days once more data is available from Thatta," he said, adding the World Food Programme had provided food to 2.5 million people across Pakistan.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Chile, NASA in talks to rescue miners
Washington (UPI) Aug 26, 2010
Chilean and NASA officials are in talks on how best to use the space agency's expertise and technology to sustain and rescue 33 miners trapped underground, the U.S. State Department said Thursday. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley told reporters the dialogue was continuing to exchange information on knowledge gained in space that could be applied to rescue the miners, trapp ... read more

Celebrating and commemorating, New Orleans remembers Katrina

Pakistan on 'war footing' to save city

Chile, NASA in talks to rescue miners

Jazz breathes life back into New Orleans after Katrina

Canadian PM Announces Support For Next Gen Of Satellites

First Successful Corona Remote Sensing Satellite Marks 50 Year Anniversary

Apple expected to update iPod line at Sept. 1 event

Japan develops 'touchable' 3D TV technology

Lula's parting gift is a controversial dam

After decades, Estonians could regain seal hunting rights

EU overfishing charges 'preposterous': Iceland

Japan high-tech toilet makers flush with success

Why Fish Don't Freeze In The Arctic Ocean

Receding ice could unlock arctic trove

Is The Ice In The Arctic Ocean Getting Thinner And Thinner

Resolving The Paradox Of The Antarctic Sea Ice

Malaysia mulls landmark trial of GM anti-dengue mosquitoes

Plant Scientists Move Closer To Making Any Crop Drought-Tolerant

Ancient Roman mill uncovered in U.K.

Paraguay marks fragile farm-based recovery

Thousands flee as Indonesia volcano erupts

Antigua, Caribbean brace for Hurricane Earl

Hurricane Danielle halts high-tech mapping of 'Titanic'

Niger floods leave 200,000 homeless: UN

S.Africa defends Chinese expansion in Africa

S.Africa's Zuma in China for talks on growing ties

Somali peacekeepers may boost troops

South Africa's Zuma visits key partner China to boost ties

The Mother Of All Humans

Giant Chinese 'Michelin baby' startles doctors: reports

Mother Of All Humans Lived 200,000 Years Ago

Humans Trump Nature On Texas River

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement