Thursday, August 19, 2010

Desperation Grows Over Pakistan Flood Damage

The New York Times, Aug 17, 2010


Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

Mohammed Hanjan washed near his destroyed home in Charsadda, Pakistan, on Tuesday. More Photos »

By WAQAR GILLANI

Flood survivors told stories of taking the search for aid upon themselves, swimming to dry areas to find food for people still marooned and waiting for rescue.

As many as 8.5 million people in Punjab have been affected, and property damage is in the hundreds of millions of dollars, the chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, told reporters. Punjab’s provincial cabinet met Tuesday and ordered development funds to be used for emergency aid.

The floods have caused lasting damage to roads and other infrastructure, livestock and agriculture. On Tuesday, the World Bank pledged to reroute $900 million from other projects in Pakistan to help in recovery and reconstruction efforts.

Across southern Punjab, scenes repeatedly played out of people seeking food and aid on their own as they remained isolated by floodwaters that reached as high as five feet.

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