Flood waters recede, people return home in north Pakistan
Flood waters began receding in northern Pakistan as a major breach in the embankment of the turbulent Indus river has been plugged, restoring life in the worst affected parts of Sindh province back to normalcy, officials said today.world Updated: Aug 30, 2010 19:00 IST
Flood waters began receding in northern Pakistan as a major breach in the embankment of the turbulent Indus river has been plugged, restoring life in the worst affected parts of Sindh province back to normalcy, officials said on Monday.
The troops of the army engineering corps have succeeded in plugging the Bharya Sheedi Mori breach in Thatta on river Indus, saving the city from the threat of inundation.
The breach has been 80 per cent plugged. People in large number are coming back to their houses amid continuing floods in Sajawal, Geo News reported.
Sajawal's ground links with other areas are still cut off, with all government offices and hospitals under water. The breach in Soojani Molchand Bund could not be plugged owing to the inundation of Sajawal.
The flood current, pounding hundreds of villages in Dadu's tehsil of Mehar, entered Khairpur Nathan Shah and was fast roaring towards Dadu and Juhi cities.
According to an official, the breaches in Naseer Shakh, Mir Shakh and Nawab Shakh have put Wara, Gaji Khavar and Naseerabad at risk of inundation and work has been jump-started to construct protective embankments outside these cities on an emergency basis.
Pakistan army and navy have been continuing their effort to rescue people stranded in Qabu Saeed Khan and abutting areas with the help of boats and helicopters.
The Indus water significantly retreated at Akil Agani Loop Bund, Nusrat Loop bund and Hasan Loop Bund thus averting risk of deluge in Larkana.
Month-long floods that submerged thousands of villages in Pakistan have started to recede, a government official said on Monday, as millions of survivors were planning to return to their destroyed homes and farms.
The worst floods in living memory were triggered by unusually strong monsoon rains a month ago in the north of the country. They inundated a fifth of Pakistan, killed more than 1,600 people and displaced over 17 million.
"At the start those people are returning to their homes who fled out of fear of floods but whose areas were either spared or marginally touched by the floods," said Khair Mohammad Kaloro, the director of operations at Sindh province's Disaster Management Authority.
The waters have receded in parts of the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the central province of Punjab.
But many areas of the southern province of Sindh are still under water and it will take another two to three weeks before people are allowed back.
"It will take another 15 to 20 days for the water level to go down and the land to become dryer (in Sindh) before the displaced people can start going back to their homes," Kaloro said.
Aid workers are still working to provide emergency relief supplies to millions of people living in temporary camps, with thousands of small children and pregnant women susceptible to diseases caused by malnutrition.
The United Nations has so far received 325 million dollars, following its 460-million-dollar aid appeal. The international community has also made direct donations and pledges to Pakistan, taking the total funds to 1 billion dollars.
Initially the international aid was slow to arrive due to the issue of transparency and suspicions of widespread corruption among government officials, but it has picked up as the magnitude of the disasters has become apparent.
First Published: Aug 30, 2010 18:58 IST