The death toll from the worst flooding in 40 years in Pakistan rose to 1,100 on Sunday as rescue workers struggled to save more than 27,000 people still trapped by the raging water, officials said.The UN has estimated that some one million people have been affected by the floods.
The Pakistan army announced Sunday night that it had reached up to 20,000 people, but the government’s response to the disaster has been widely assailed as slow and inadequate. Criticism was further fed by a decision by President Asif Zardari, already deeply unpopular, to leave the country this week for political talks in Europe.
Many survivors sought refuge in schools. But just 20 miles from the regional capital, Peshawar, displaced people were lying along the road without tents, food or assistance, except for boiled rice from nearby villagers.
Relief agencies have warned that there is a risk of waterborne diseases like diarrhea, asthma, skin allergies and perhaps cholera in the flood-affected areas. They claime that there is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water, medical care, basic food items and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe.
Pakistan flood kills 1,100 [The Straits Times, August 2, 2010]
Pakistan flood death toll 'passes 1,100' [BBC, August 1, 2010]
Pakistan Challenged in Flood Rescue [NY Times, August 1, 2010]