Disease Risk Rises Amid Deadly Pakistan Floods - NECN

Disease Risk Rises Amid Deadly Pakistan Floods



    (NECN/CNN) - Widespread monsoon rains fell across much of Pakistan on Monday, threatening to exacerbate an already dire situation.

    At least 1,110 people have died in flooding in Pakistan since record rain
    triggered devastating floods last week. Forecasters envision more rain this
    week, though not as much as last week, said Brandon Miller, a meteorologist
    with CNN International.

    "Anything they get will aggravate an already devastating situation," he

    The Pakistan Meteorological Department said Monday that it expects
    enhanced monsoon activity for the first two weeks of August. It forecast
    widespread rain in the next four days in Sindh, Punjab, Kashmir,
    Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, northeast Balochistan and Islamabad.

    Areas along the Indus River will be badly affected due to extremely high
    flood conditions, the department has said.

    Relief operations were in "full swing" in some parts of the country, the
    state-run Associated Press of Pakistan news agency reported Monday.

    The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, has pledged $10
    million to help Pakistani authorities cope with the flooding, the news agency

    In the hardest-hit province, Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, authorities estimate
    that 800 people have died and more than 100 are still missing, the World Health
    Organization said.

    "The actual figures could be higher as communication networks in many
    areas are still disrupted," it said in a report.

    About 15,000 families in the province need emergency assistance, such as
    food, clean water, shelter and medical services, the organization said.

    "As the water level recedes, measures to prevent water-borne diseases
    will also become a priority," it said.

    That flooding stranded about 30,000 people on their rooftops and in
    higher areas Sunday, a United Nations official said.

    "We've got the government sending boats and helicopters to try to reach
    people and bring them to safety at the same time as trying to deliver emergency
    relief," said Nicki Bennett, a senior humanitarian affairs officer for the U.N.

    Damaged roads and bridges have made rescuing stranded residents
    difficult, she said, noting that even a U.N. warehouse where the organization
    stores food, blankets, soaps and bucks is partially underwater.

    "As we are trying to reach people, we have to battle with the ongoing
    access problems," she said.

    A Pakistani Red Crescent official told CNN that the number of people
    affected by the floods has risen to nearly 2.5 million people, with
    infrastructure suffering major damage.

    Rushing water also has washed away thousands of acres of crops,
    government buildings, businesses, schools, bridges and homes, officials said.

    The United States will assist in relief efforts by bringing in 50,000
    meals, rescue boats and helicopters, 12 pre-fabricated steel bridges and water
    filtration units, the embassy in Islamabad said.

    According to Geo TV, 150 people are missing in a northwestern province
    and 3,700 homes were swept away. Forty-seven bridges in Sawat have been
    destroyed or damaged.

    Geo TV also said 3,000 are in a camp in Nowshera and are without enough
    water and food. Displaced residents are unhappy with the government response,
    Geo TV said. Trains have also been delayed, frustrating commuters.

    "They have made this a joke," a commuter told the network. "There are
    young children here but there is no water, nor is there any seating, they have
    taken our ticket money yet after every few minutes they change the train timings. They are playing a game of lies and deceit."

    President Asif Ali Zardari has said all available resources would be used
    to help those stranded by the waters, the state-run news agency has reported.

    Many victims died when flood waters swept away hundreds of mud houses in
    parts of Swat Valley and the districts of Shangla and Tank, according to Bashir
    Ahmed Bilour, a provincial minister in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

    The European Commission is providing 30 million euros ($39 million) to
    help the people affected by the flooding.

    The same weather system is also responsible for flooding in bordering
    Afghanistan, where 65 people have died and 61 were injured since Thursday,
    according to Abdul Matin Adrak, head of disaster management for Afghanistan.