Sunday, August 22, 2010
Floods Force Thousands From Homes in Pakistan - NYTimes.com
SUKKUR, Pakistan — Floodwaters continued to surge Sunday into areas of southern Pakistan, forcing thousands more people to abandon their homes in haste and flee to higher ground. Attention has now focused on the province of Sindh as the floods that have torn through the length of the country for three weeks move finally toward the Arabian Sea.
Water reached within half a mile of Shadad Kot, a town of 150,000 people, on Sunday afternoon, and several nearby villages were already cut off when a protective embankment began to give way, Yasin Shar, the district coordination officer of Shadad Kot, said by telephone. Most of the population has been evacuated, and more were still leaving, he said.
“We are trying to save the embankment and keep on repairing wherever it is damaged, but the water is flowing with a lot of pressure,” Mr Shar said. “We hope the embankment won’t break. We are praying.”
Nearly five million people have been displaced from the worst flooding ever recorded in Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands are being housed in orderly tented camps set up in army compounds, schools and other public buildings, but thousands more are living on roadsides and canal embankments, spreading out mats under the trees or making shade over the simple rope beds they brought with them.