Monday, August 09, 2010

Pakistan flood victims desperate as crisis worsens

In a televised address to the nation on Friday night, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani sought international help in mitigating thea worsening crisis.

* By Naveed Ahmad, Correspondent, Gulf News, Aug 8, 2010

Temporary shelter
* A woman sits in her makeshift tent made of plastic sheets in Azakhel near Pabbi.
* Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: As Pakistan awaits foreign assistance to deal with the mammoth flood relief challenge, Pakistanis desperate to get out of flooded villages threw themselves at helicopters on Saturday.

In the town of Muzaffargarh, near rivers bloated with rain and from as far away as Afghanistan and India merge with the Indus to flow south to the sea, army helicopters dropped packets of rice to people who had moved to higher ground to a cemetery.

Some latched on to helicopter skids as the aircraft took off.

An elderly man fought his way inside one. He looked down and wept.

“Things are getting worse. It’s raining again. That’s hampering our relief work,” said UN World Food Programme spokesman Amjad Jamal.

Dozens of villages have been flooded in Ghoki district on the left bank of the River Indus.

Over 5,000-year-old Mohenjo-Daro archeological treasures are at risk of being inundated by terrible flooding as protective embankments along the Indus continue to disintegrate.

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