50,000 people evacuated to safer places in inundated Pakistan
Islamabad, Sep 2 (EFE).- The Pakistan Army has relocated over 50,000 people to safer places as it continues its massive rescue and relief operation for flood victims in the country.
The country’s disaster response capacity has been strained, with floods killing over 1,200 people, including nearly 400 children.
Several towns have been inundated or covered in mud as floods wreaked havoc on a scale that may take the country a long time to recover from.
The army media wing said 200 helicopter sorties were flown in various areas of Pakistan to evacuate stranded people and transport rations and medicines.
“During last 24 hours, 1991 stranded individual have been evacuated and 162.6 tons of relief items delivered to flood affected people,” an army statement said.
“So far, more than 50,000 individuals have been shifted to safer locations from calamity hit areas.”
The statement said 147 relief camps are functional round the clock in flood-affected areas of Sindh, Southern Punjab, and Balochistan for the people affected by torrential rains and flash floods.
A UN statement warned that children were at the worst risk as 40 percent of them were already suffering from stunting before the floods hit the country.
“We estimate that 16 million children are impacted and 3.4 million of these children are in need of humanitarian support,” the Unicef statement said.
It said many children were now at heightened risk, without a home, school, and even safe drinking water.
“There is a risk of many more child deaths. And the situation will only continue to deteriorate as winter is just eight weeks away in some parts of the country.”
The statement said there was now a high risk of water-borne, deadly diseases spreading rapidly – diarrhea, cholera, dengue, malaria.
“Relief and rescue operations are still extremely hard to carry out – around 160 bridges and 5,000 km (3,200 miles) of roads have been destroyed or damaged, 3.5 million acres of crops affected and about 800,000 livestock lost. EFE