Two million more people have been affected by Pakistan’s floods– 13 million — than were affected by the 2005 tsunami in the Indian Ocean and the Haiti earthquake combined. (The other disasters surpassed Pakistan’s floods in their over-all death rates).
The entire city of Muzaffargarh in Pakistani
Kashmir south Punjab is being evacuated and is abruptly on the move– three quarters of a million people, children, women and men. Pakistanis say they can think of nothing like these scenes except for the mass displacements of the 1947 Partition of the subcontinent into Pakistan and India, at the very birth of the state.
Muzaffargarh alone is half again the pre-Katrina population of New Orleans, and it is just one affected city. It is as though Katrina had also struck everyplace in the American Midwest up through Kansas City all the way to Chicago.
Oxfam America is taking donations for the Pakistan relief effort. So far the international response has been disappointing, and quite apart from the crying need of the victims, the last thing we need is for the Pakistani public to feel yet again abandoned by the West.
Aljazeera English reports that the flooding is threatening Pakistan’s farming on some of its most fertile ground:
Aljazeera English also reports on the flood’s damage to infrastructure in the Swat Valley, an area where hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis had already been displaced by a Pakistani military campaign against the Pakistani Taliban: