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Fresh flood crisis hits Pakistan

Tens of thousands have fled the southern Pakistani city of Thatta, as powerful floodwaters break through the city’s barriers.

A young Pakistani boy displaced by flooding holds his ration card as he tries to push as they line up for hot meal
A young Pakistani boy displaced by flooding holds his ration card as he tries to push as they line up for hot meal

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people have fled from the southern Pakistan city of Thatta as fresh floodwaters threaten to engulf the area.

Waters have now broken through three protective barriers constructed around the city, forcing families to desert their homes and rush to higher ground.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has said than a further one million people have been displaced by the natural disaster, bringing the total number of people needing emergency assistance over the colossal seven million mark.

Anger

Rage is growing amongst Pakistanis over what is viewed as governmental incompetence. One Thatta local, Lakano Barani, spoke to the Al Jazeera, saying:

Nothing was done and now it is too late. If they [the government] had taken action, then the historic city of Thatta could have been saved… The government has not told the people where to go or what to do. It is the most incapable government I have ever seen.

Death toll

The powerful floodwaters hitting Pakistan have so far killed at least 1,600 people. The death toll will continue to rise, medical professionals have warned, as disease spreads quickly in areas submerged in filthy water and displaced people scramble for food, clean water and medicine.

Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told Reuters that the deaths caused directly by the flooding were limited – but that Pakistan would face a “second wave” of deaths, even as floodwaters begin to recede in the areas first hit.

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Lasting damage

At least 3.2m hectares of farmland has been destroyed by the floods, which means thousands of survivors face the crushing reality that they will have no way to grow food for at least 12 months.

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