Pakistan on Saturday sharply increased its estimate of the number of people affected by catastrophic floods to 20 million, and the United Nations said 6 million of those victims lack access to food, shelter and water.
The floods, which continue to inundate new parts of the country, have caused a humanitarian disaster that has overwhelmed the capacity of the government and international aid groups. Foreign assistance has been slow in arriving, and aid organizations warn that many more deaths could follow unless flood victims receive help soon.
Source ~ Seattle Times
ABC World News Tonight this evening had vivid images of people carrying goats and sheep across their shoulders in shoulder-high water. There were images of people working side-by-side to unload thin cattle from hacked-together barges – onto flooded streets. There were pictures of parents holding dehydrated children and feeding them sips of water in bottle caps -- because that was all the clean water there was.
In a televised address to the nation, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said 20 million were now homeless, but did not elaborate.
It was unclear how many of those people were briefly forced to leave their homes and how many had lost their houses altogether.
But hundreds of thousands of homes have been destroyed and many flood victims are living in muddy camps or overcrowded government buildings.
Thousands more are sleeping in the open, next to their cows, goats and whatever possessions they managed to drag with them.
"My house was swept away in the floodwater. I have no shelter, no clothes and nothing to eat. I am living in misery," said Allah Wasai, of Muzzafargarh - a flood-hit region in Punjab province.
Source ~ Sky News
“We need everything.”
Among those who need everything are, as Red Crescent is reporting:
The residents of Mohammed Larik village, east of the Indus river near Sukkur in Upper Sindh.
By chance, their village was built on a patch of high ground on the river side of one of the huge bunds (dykes), built in the 1970s to contain floods along this part of the Indus.
When the flood came, they were cut off.
Now Mohammed Larik’s men and boys have established a temporary settlement along the bund several hundred metres away across deep water, where they sleep in tents distributed by the PRCS and donated by the Kuwaiti Red Crescent.
Few of the villagers can swim properly, and the women – said to be nervous of paddling across in inner tubes – stay behind on what has become an island.
Shabana Khatoon, 18, is one who is not afraid of the water. “People drowned here,” she says, “and all our wheat is gone.
“There is no food in our village now. Everyone is hungry – men, women and children.”
Niaz Hussein, 35, says there are at least 400 villages in their district, east of the Indus, “and they’re all flooded”.
“We need health facilities, we need electricity, we need everything.”
Red Crescent Donation Site
Another flood may be coming soon.
If the recent flooding wasn’t enough, the weather forecast department in Pakistan has warned of yet another one that is likely to occur within the next 24 hours. The department has notified that there is a chance of another incident of a flood attack in southern Pakistan around this weekend.
Source ~ UKToday
A new surge of flood water swelled the Indus River yesterday, threatening previously spared cities and towns in the south. The Indus was already more than 15 miles wide at some points Friday, 25 times wider than during normal monsoon seasons.
Authorities were trying to evacuate or warn people in Jacobabad, Hyderabad, Thatta, Ghotki, Larkana, and other areas in Sindh Province that so far have been spared floods.
Source ~ Boston Globe
The First Cases of Cholera Have Been Recorded.
The United Nations confirmed the first cholera case among survivors of the Pakistan flooding yesterday, and the government sharply increased its estimate of the number of people affected by the catastrophic floods to 20 million.
As people go without access to clean drinking water and basic health services, deadly cholera outbreaks can spread quickly. More cases are suspected among the tens of thousands of people with diarrhea and fever.
Revising an earlier official estimate that 14 million people were affected by the floods, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said that 20 million, nearly 12 percent of the population, had been displaced.
About 1,600 people have died during the floods, which began nearly three weeks ago, and aid workers warned that waterborne disease could sharply increase that number.
Source ~ Boston Globe
How You Can Help:
ShelterBox h/t Aji
Doctors Without Borders h/t LaFeminista
Mercy Corps h/t Sara R
Islamic Relief USA h/t esquimaux and bleeding heart
Text SWAT to 50555 to donate $10 America.gov
To donate an Emergency Family Survival Kit, see Relief International h/t Aji
Please consider even a small donation tonight. And please keep Pakistan in your thoughts and in your prayers.