Pakistan: Heavy rains bringing devastation

Friday, August 12, 2011

Monsoon rains are pouring down across Sindh province, southeast Pakistan, submerging houses, destroying crops and forcing families out of homes and off land.

More than 700 villages are isolated and residents trapped after roads were washed away. Roofs of houses have collapsed, resulting in injuries and deaths. Media reports say up to 18 people have died, with more injured.

Hundreds have been forced to evacuate houses, with many sleeping under open skies. Media say 30 relief camps have been set up and an emergency imposed in Badin district where residents are being evacuated.

Forecast rains threaten to worsen the situation with high alerts issued for three districts in the next 36 hours.

Isolated heavy falls are expected across other parts of the country. Water levels are rising in water channels of southern Punjab province, where forecasts indicate that rains could also provoke flash-floods.

Staff of ACT member Church World Service have been the first to reach some remote villages whose residents reported families fleeing with their belongings. The CWS disaster response team is contacting local partner organisations and suppliers of food, tents and other relief goods.

Residents of some areas of Pakistan have barely begun recovering from last year’s flooding, with fears these rains could lead to further devastation.