One Million Displaced as Rising Waters Threaten Major Cities

AFP reports that Pakistani troops are on a ‘war footing’ in their desperate efforts to save the southern Sindhi city of Thatta from advancing flood waters, as they attempt to repair breaches in levees that have allowed water around the city to rise alarmingly. The 300,000 inhabitants of Thatta have fled, along with 700,000 others in surrounding areas in recent days– that is, a further million is now displaced and homeless, adding to the millions who were already in that situation. The waters are now headed toward the town of Sajawal and have knocked out its electricity plant. Thousands are fleeing.

A string of towns and cities already hit by the floodwaters is sitting empty in the absence of the owners.

Dawn writes that 400,000 of the displaced are gathered in the open in Makli, without shelter, abandoned by the state, and not knowing where their next meal is coming from

The United Nations fears that children are at risk from water-borne diseases, as water-purification processes have broken down with the flooding.

Reuters has video on the crisis:

7 Responses

  1. Heart-wrenching scenes of desperation and doom. One tragedy after another. How is Pakistan ever going to come out of this one? Mr. Cole thanks for standing by the people of Pakistan in their hour of need.

  2. Dear Professor Cole

    A map of the flooded areas might help, as well as a running count of the displaced.

    Then when it all goes up in flames we will know where.

  3. I can not for the life of me understand why the world is treating this different than Haiti. The devastation is worse. Why are Pakistanis different from Haitians? Where are the TV marathons to save these people? What is going on?

  4. 40% of Pakistan’s children were malnourished before any of this started. There will be large scale starvation in Pakistan this winter. I hope it can be averted but I don’t know how it can be avoided. The camps for flood victims are already under siege by people who haven’t been displaced but are no less hungry for a meal, and hope to inifltrate the camps to get aid. God help these people in their hour of need.

  5. This is absolutely horrible, far beyond the destruction to be cause by any terrorist attack, or insurgent war or even one of Iran’s mythical atomic weapons.

    It could well destroy Pakistan as a nation and release the hordes of hell on South West Asia. If the USA is to have any credibility in the world as a moral nation we had better do something serious to help these people.

  6. Which story commands the most US media attention this weekend: catastrophe in Pakistan or “march on Washington”? Why?

  7. Eurofrank – Here is a general map of the Pakistan showing the areas flooded (its dates from 6 August – things have got worse in the southern areas since then): link to alertnet.org

    For a map of the area currently being flooded (lower Sindh) see this link which shows what would happen with a rise in sea-level of (eg) 7 metres. From this you can get a clear idea of the Indus flowing down to the sea and of the low-lying areas around it which are in danger of flooding as the water surge which has been moving down the Indus closes in on the Arabian sea: link to flood.firetree.net

    Currently, Thatta on the right side of the Indus going downstream has been evacuated and Sujawal on the left has been inundated.

    You can also use this site to see what global warming might do to the area where you live in the event sea-levels rise.

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