Badin (Pakistan), July 30 (Reuters): Pakistani authorities raced against time today to rescue tens of thousands of people stranded after the worst floods in a decade hit the south of the country, killing at least 100 people.
As the rain stopped, army, navy, police and civil aid workers fanned out across villages in the southern province of Sindh trying to reach people marooned without food and shelter for up to six days. “More people will die from (lack of) food, if it is not delivered on time, than from drowning,” said ambulance service official Faisal Edhi.
A government official coordinating relief activities in the city of Hyderabad said more than 100 people were now known to have died and more than 650,000 had been affected since monsoons hit at the end of last week.
“The death toll could rise further as we get information from remote areas,” the official said. Relief camps set up in schools, town halls and other government buildings were also filling rapidly, with more than 65,000 people being looked after in camps across the province.
Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali flew by helicopter to see the damage in the port city of Karachi and ordered compensation of about Rs 50 million ($870,000) for victims.
Rescue officials said many people remained stranded even though floodwaters were receding. “The biggest problem is that road links have disappeared under water so how do we reach them'” said a police officer.