Thousands Displaced As Massive Floods In Pakistan Spread To The South

The massive floods in Pakistan have spread to the southern province of Sindh, where hundreds of thousands of people are on the move after evacuating their inundated villages, a United Nations official said today, as humanitarian agencies continued to deliver relief supplies to millions of those affected. “The situation in Sindh is of high concern. The water now is in Sindh and entire cities have been evacuated,” said Maurizio Giuliani, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in an interview with UN Radio. “We have hundreds of thousands of people on the move [and] if we are not able to reach all those in need fast enough, there may be a spread of waterborne diseases and, of course, food shortages and lack of shelter will not contribute to improving the situation of those in need,” he added. Evacuations have been reported from low-lying areas of Hyderabad as the second wave of flooding moved southwards, according to OCHA. Large parts of Jacobabad district were also evacuated during the weekend, Mr. Giuliani said. “We’ll only be able to know in the coming days how many people have been affected [in Sindh],” Mr. Giuliani added. The floods, which began late last month in the wake of particularly heavy monsoon rains, have so far claimed 1,200 lives and destroyed homes, farmland and major infrastructure in large parts of the country. According to Government estimates, 15.4 million people are affected, with at least 6 million of them in need of food, shelter, clean water and health care. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that it requires at least 40 more heavy-lift helicopters to boost its efforts to deliver relief to large numbers of people who remain in inaccessible areas as a result of roads and bridges being washed away by the floods. The agency brought in three of an expected five additional helicopters into the country yesterday. “We need more of these life-savers,” said WFP Pakistan Country Director Wolfgang Herbi