Earth Science News  





.
SHAKE AND BLOW
Pakistan orders nearly half a million to evacuate

Pakistani flood-threatened villagers travel along a bridge with their belongings and cattle as they evacuate Sajawal in Sindh province on August 26, 2010. Pakistan ordered nearly half a million people to evacuate towns on August 26 as rising floods threaten further havoc in a country straining to cope after its worst humanitarian disaster. The United Nations 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 people reachable only by air. Photo courtesy AFP.
by Staff Writers
Thatta, Pakistan (AFP) Aug 27, 2010
Flood-ravaged Pakistan ordered nearly half a million people to evacuate towns Thursday as the United Nations vowed to forge ahead with relief operations despite threats against foreign aid workers.

Torrential monsoon rains triggered massive floods affecting a fifth of the volatile country -- an area roughly the size of England -- where US officials have reported threats by the Taliban.

But UN humanitarian chief John Holmes pledged relief operations would continue.

"We will not be deterred from doing what we believe we need to do, which is to help the people of Pakistan," he told a news conference at the world body's headquarters in New York.

"Those threats existed before the floods and we've always known that the security issues are there," he said.

As the crisis deepened, villagers in the south fled from where the Indus delta merges with the Arabian Sea, trailing north in vans laden with furniture, crowded into buses, or in carts pulled by oxen. Some people were on foot, leading their livestock.

Water lined the road from Hyderabad to Thatta town, as workers frantically used bulldozers to dig embankments only just higher than the flooding, and where people camped out under open skies or in makeshift tents.

The catastrophe has already affected more than 17 million people and left eight million dependent on aid to survive.

The Pakistani government has confirmed that 1,600 people have been killed and 2,366 wounded, but officials warn that millions are at risk from diseases and food shortages.

In the southern province of Sindh, where the floods have washed away huge swathes of the rich farmland on which Pakistan's struggling economy depends, a senior administration official warned that fresh floods threaten the towns of Sujawal, Mirpur Bathoro and Daro.

Hadi Bakhsh Kalhoro told AFP that 400,000 had been warned of the danger posed by rising waters.

Administrator of Thatta district Manzoor Sheikh told AFP that 100,000 people were on the move to safer ground on Thursday.

"My estimate is that there were some 100,000 people moving just today towards safer places, and the movement of people was still continuing," Sheikh said.

The Sindh irrigation minister said waters were in danger of breaching a protective embankment in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh village, where former leaders Benazir Bhutto and her father, as well as her two younger brothers, are buried.

"We have strengthened the embankment because we don't want mausoleums of our martyrs to be flooded," the provincial minister, Saifullah Dharejo, told AFP.

On the Arabian Sea, authorities fear that coastal districts may flood in coming days, trapped by Indus river floods pushing south and rough seas.

"Most people have left Sujawal. I'm also leaving town with a heavy heart with my family," Mohammed Bakhshal, a 40-year-old farmer, told AFP.

"Local transporters are demanding a lot of money to carry our luggage and families to Thatta and Karachi. I had 15,000 rupees (175 dollars) in savings, which I'm now spending on transport."

The UN 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 people reachable only by air.

On the ground, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says 4.5 million people remain in urgent need of shelter.

US State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters in Washington, which has put Pakistan on the front line of efforts to beat back the Taliban in Afghanistan, of the threats facing those helping flood victims.

"We have information of the potential targeting of foreign relief workers in Pakistan, as well as government ministries," he said.

Crowley pointed specifically to the extremist group Tehreek-e-Taliban and voiced concerns that its militants may attack foreigners or government institutions involved in relief efforts.

Holmes said that the United Nations would take "appropriate precautions" against any threats.

The Pakistani Taliban have previously denounced all foreign aid for victims of the country's catastrophic flooding.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Thursday it was exploring "all options" to help the country, which is seeking to ease the terms of a near 11-billion-dollar loan, including emergency funds.

Standard & Poor's said that Pakistan's sovereign credit rating would not be immediately impacted, expressing confidence the IMF would ease loan financing terms to the nation.




Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



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



Tempur-Pedic Mattress Comparison

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News
SHAKE AND BLOW
France drains glacier to protect village from flood
Saint-Gervais-Les-Bains, France (AFP) Aug 25, 2010
French authorities set about draining a lake trapped beneath a glacier in the Mont Blanc Alpine range on Wednesday to protect thousands of people in the valley below from a flood. Workers toiled at an altitude of 3,200 metres (10,500 feet), pouring hot water on the ice to make a hole through which they will push a pump and start tapping off the water that has accumulated below one of the gla ... read more

.
Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
  


SHAKE AND BLOW
Jazz breathes life back into New Orleans after Katrina

Chile seeks advice from NASA on feeding trapped miners

Chilean miners' rescue operation to last months

New Orleans police still pay for Katrina sins 5 years on

SHAKE AND BLOW
Apple expected to update iPod line at Sept. 1 event

Wired youth forget how to write in China and Japan

Toshiba to sell launch first 3D TV without glasses: report

US grants licenses for radar equipment sales to Taiwan

SHAKE AND BLOW
EU overfishing charges 'preposterous': Iceland

After decades, Estonians could regain seal hunting rights

Japan high-tech toilet makers flush with success

EU warns Iceland, Faroes over 'mackerel war'

SHAKE AND BLOW
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

SHAKE AND BLOW
Plant Scientists Move Closer To Making Any Crop Drought-Tolerant

Ancient Roman mill uncovered in U.K.

Paraguay marks fragile farm-based recovery

Kenya fights threat to nut cash crop

SHAKE AND BLOW
Storm systems gather strength in the Atlantic

South Korea and China offer aid for North Korea flood crisis

Misery for Pakistan village cut off by flood

UN vows Pakistan relief despite threats

SHAKE AND BLOW
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

SHAKE AND BLOW
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