Mass evacuation in Pak Punjab as authorities issue red alert on floods

August 10th, 2010 - 12:00 pm ICT by ANI  

Muzaffargarh, Aug 10(ANI): Thousands of residents are evacuating Muzaffargarh city in Pakistan’s Punjab province after local authorities issued an urgent flood warning.

Flood warnings were played out from loudspeakers of mosques in the city throughout the day after water in the nearby Ringpur Canal reached alarming levels.

“The situation is very serious. We are totally helpless. That’s why we asked people to move to a safer place,” The Daily Times quoted Farasat Iqbal, local official, as saying.

Residents said that people were leaving the city crammed into every type of transport, including the relief train operated by the Pakistan Railways.

Officials said that people were travelling to Sukkur, third largest city of Sindh province, as heavy rains continued to lash Punjab and water levels rose further in the swollen Indus River.

“People are heading towards Sukkur. It is a big human crisis. We don’t know how many have come and how many more will come,” said Inamullah Dhareejo, a senior administration official.

Over 1,600 people have been killed and 15 million affected as raging floodwaters continue to wreak havoc in the country.

In addition to causing major human loses, it has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, washed away crops and livestock.

Relief and rescue work has been hit badly by continuous rains, particularly in the north western region.

The United Nations says that Pakistan will need billions of dollars to recover from the deluge, which is being described as the worst in the last 80 years. (ANI)

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