Devastating rains have triggered floods in southern Pakistan, affecting at least 700,000 people and forcing 60,000 from their homes, officials said on Wednesday.
Villages have been flooded and crops destroyed in Pakistan’s bread basket of Sindh province, one of the worst-hit areas in the unprecedented floods of 2010 that affected 21 million people and caused losses of US$10 billion.
Tens of thousands of people are still living in emergency camps after last year’s floods and British charity Oxfam has accused Pakistan of failing to invest in prevention measures, making it vulnerable to further disaster.
The army and navy are using helicopters and boats to rescue people who are trapped by the fresh floodwaters, said Kazim Jatoi, the chief administrator in Badin district.
Pakistan’s weak civilian government came under enormous criticism last year from victims of the floods who said ministers did little to help.
The army has also been working to rehabilitate itself after facing an unprecedented backlash over the covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden on the doorstep of its top military academy on May 2.
Pakistan’s largest charity, the Edhi Foundation, called for a comprehensive relief effort on Wednesday to help those at risk.
Jatoi said makeshift relief camps had been set up in 150 school buildings, but said there was an urgent need for tents and food.
Shah, the disaster management authority official, said crops had been destroyed and houses flooded.
The meteorological office has forecast more rain in coming days.