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Asia Floods 2010
Written by Diana Thebaud Nicholson // September 13, 2010 // Asia, Water // Comments Off on Asia Floods 2010
BOUGAINVILLE FLOODS LEAVE THOUSANDS IN DISTRESS
Victims without food, medical assistance
PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea – More than 10,000 people in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville are in need of food and medical assistance after continuous rainfall destroyed food gardens and devastated roads. Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) President John Momis highlighted the problem last Friday when accepting 4,000 cartons of biscuits worth 180,000 kina [US$67,300] from the Lae Biscuit Co Ltd. The company will ship the biscuits in two containers to the ABG office this week. Typically, July is part of the dry season but, this year, the wet season came early and the heavy monsoon rains were having a massive impact. Weather experts had linked the continuous rainfall to the change in climate as a result of global warming.
Floods expose civilian-military divide in Pakistan
(WaPost) The civilians’ initial response appeared chaotic and confused as the flooding disaster unfolded. But symbolism seemed to matter more: President Asif Ali Zardari’s decision to visit France and England as people fled their water-filled homes infuriated many and burnished the image of an out-of-touch political elite.
More recently, the front pages of Pakistani newspapers have been filled with bickering between the ruling party and the opposition over how flood relief should be monitored, and whether additional layers of bureaucracy should be established to oversee the aid.
The army has been stretched by the crisis, too, but it has exhibited more discipline and message control. It is the only institution in Pakistan capable of large-scale relief work, with some 60,000 troops involved in helping flood victims. It is also running numerous relief camps and delivering aid to the stranded.
Evelyn Leopold: Pakistan: Quick Millions Promised for ‘Slow-Motion Tsunami’
Compared to the disasters in Haiti and the 2004 Asian Tsunami, the wallets have been slow to open, especially among Islamic nations and China, prompting the U.N. General Assembly to organize a high-level session to reap more pledges
“Pakistan is facing a slow-motion tsunami. At least 160,000 square kilometers of land is under water. Fifteen to 20 million people need shelter, food and emergency care. That is more than the entire population hit by the (2004) Indian Ocean tsunami, the Kashmir earthquake, Cyclone Nargis, and the earthquake in Haiti – combined.”
Why Aren’t We Doing More For Flood-Ravaged Pakistan?
Relief agencies plead for more Pakistan help
Relief organization are urging more support for the Pakistani flood effort as those affected become increasingly desperate for supplies of food, medicine and clean drinking water. Many agencies are struggling to meet goals for emergency funding, and cite a host of reasons such as lack of media coverage, political considerations and language barriers as reasons for the lukewarm response to appeals. The New York Times (free registration) (8/17) , The Globe and Mail (Toronto) (8/17)
U.N. Sounds Alarm on Aid for Pakistan
Aid organizations and the United Nations itself expressed alarm on Tuesday that the plight of millions of Pakistanis flooded from their land has yet to strike a sufficiently sympathetic nerve among donors — neither governments nor the general public — with aid trickling in far more slowly than needed.
They cited a variety of factors for the sluggish reaction, starting with minimal media coverage globally and a relatively low death toll. Other elements, they said, included the preoccupation with economic problems; donor fatigue with natural disasters and the August vacation season when many people pay less attention to the news. Finally, Pakistan itself suffers from an image problem as a hotbed of Taliban activity and the source of renegade nuclear sales, which can give donors pause.
India ready to give more aid but Pak silent
(Times of India) Even as more floods threaten to inundate Pakistan, the government there is reluctant to avail of India’s offer of assistance.
India indicated on Monday that it was willing to give more assistance over the $5 million it has already pledged. “We can and are willing to do much more,” senior sources in the government said.
But New Delhi is yet to receive a response from the Zardari government to its earlier offer of assistance of $5 million.
Health concerns mount as Pakistan braces for more rain
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon heads to flood-ravaged Pakistan this weekend as fears over more monsoon rain and the spread of water-borne diseases grip the country. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari — who has faced broad criticism over his government’s handling of the crisis — visited a flood-hit area for the first time Thursday. Pakistan’s vital agriculture industry has already sustained significant damage and will likely need billions of dollars in rehabilitation funds. More than 14 million people have been affected by the raging waters, and relief workers are struggling to reach people trapped in remote areas. AlertNet.org/Reuters (8/13) , The Globe and Mail (Toronto)/Reuters (8/13) , Der Spiegel (Germany) (English online version) (8/12) , The New York Times (free registration) (8/13)
Asia Flooding Plunges Millions Into Misery
(NPR/AP) Floods and landslides across Asia plunged millions into misery Sunday as rubble-strewn waters killed at least 127 in northwestern China and 4 million Pakistanis faced food shortages amid their country’s worst-ever flooding. In Indian-controlled Kashmir, rescuers raced to find 500 people still missing in flash floods that have already killed 132, while North Korea’s state media said high waters had destroyed thousands of homes and damaged crops. Terrified residents fled to high ground or upper stories of apartment buildings in China’s Gansu province after a debris-blocked river overflowed during the night, smashing buildings and overturning cars. The official Xinhua News Agency said Sunday that authorities were seeking to locate an estimated 1,300 people still missing in the latest deluge in a summer that has seen China’s worst seasonal flooding in a decade. That figure was down from 2,000 earlier in the day.
Pakistan PM calls for help as fresh rains hamper flood aid
(AFP) – Fresh rains lashed flood-hit Pakistan Sunday, hampering aid efforts and threatening to deepen a crisis affecting 15 million people in the country’s worst ever floods. Helicopters were grounded in the northwest while rescuers rushed to evacuate families in the poor southern farming belt of Sindh, where officials were readying for a deluge that could burst the banks of the swollen Indus river. New downpours hammered the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Sunday, with experts predicting yet more rain to come, adding to the misery of the millions made homeless by the destructive floods. Zardari shrugs off criticism as disaster spreads
Hard-Line Islam Fills Void in Flooded Pakistan As public anger rises over the government’s slow and chaotic response to Pakistan’s worst flooding in 80 years, hard-line Islamic charities have stepped into the breach with a grass-roots efficiency that is earning them new support among Pakistan’s beleaguered masses. Victims of the floods and political observers say the disaster has provided yet another deeply painful reminder of the anemic health of the civilian government as it teeters between the ineffectual and neglectful.
Pakistani floods are affecting 4 million people In the most devastating flood to hit Pakistan in 80 years, some 1,600 people have died and as many as 4 million people’s lives have been affected. U.K. humanitarian aid officials said that the speed of delivery of aid to people who are struggling to find food, shelter and potable water will be crucial to curbing the devastation. As officials are racing to prevent damage and loss of life in Karachi, where the waters are approaching, anger with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari’s refusal to cancel official state visits to France and U.K. has boiled over. The Independent (London) (8/6)
Indian Kashmir hit by deadly floods
(CBC) Flash floods in the remote mountainous region of Ladakh in Indian Kashmir have killed 103 people, local officials say. State police chief Kuldeep Khoda said Friday more than 370 others have been injured. Police and paramilitary soldiers have pulled out hundreds of people from the mud and debris that have buried hundreds of homes but their efforts were hampered by gushing water and mud sweeping down from the steep mountainsides.
Pakistan reels after Taliban assassination, severe floods Pakistan is buckling under the strain of the twin threats of natural and man-made disaster as flooding and Taliban attacks take their toll. The Taliban assassinated Sifwat Ghayur, a Western ally and the chief of an ethnic Pashtun security force tasked with fighting the Taliban along the tribal border region. Meanwhile, the UN has warned of severe food shortages in areas beset by floods stemming from one of the most dramatic monsoon seasons in 80 years. Bad weather continues to hamper helicopter efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to Swat Valley and other beleaguered regions. The Wall Street Journal (8/4) , The Washington Post (8/5) PBS Newshour: More Rain Forecast for Flood-Ravaged Pakistan Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News reports from Punjab Province in the eastern part of the country.
Pakistan Flood Toll Exceeds 1,500 as Officials Struggle to Reach Survivors
(Bloomberg) Pakistan’s deadliest floods in decades killed more than 1,500 people and overwhelmed government efforts to provide aid, officials and relief workers said. With President Asif Ali Zardari touring Europe, the government said it was rushing help to the devastated northwestern province, where the army has fought Taliban guerrillas. Islamic militant groups in the region and the U.S. government both have built public support in the past by providing assistance to bolster government attempts.
China devastated by floods
(The Guardian) Over 130 dead and 800,000 displaced after torrential rain sees rivers swell and houses hit by landslides Huge floods in southern China have killed at least 132 people and displaced 800,000, the government said today as the annual storm season picked up ferocity. More than 10 million people have lost property, been injured or suffered a cut in power or water supplies as a result of the week of torrential rain across Guangdong, Fujian, Guangxi, Jiangxi and Sichuan. Many of these areas have gone from one extreme to another, according to the government. Earlier this year, south-east China endured its worst drought in living memory, but in the past week, some places have been inundated with three times the average rain for this period. With thousands of houses destroyed and businesses and power lines put out of action in Guangdong and Fujian – the industrial hubs on the coast – the ministry of water resources estimated the economic damage at 14bn yuan (£400m).
1.3 Million Flee as China Floods Kill 155
Southern Region’s Worst Drought in Century Followed by Torrential Storms That Swell Yangtze River; 140,000 Houses Collapse
(AP/CBS News) Unusually heavy seasonal flooding in China has killed at least 155 people and forced more than 1 million to flee as water levels in some areas reached at their highest in more than a decade, the government reported Saturday. Direct economic losses total 24 billion yuan ($6.5 billion), with large swaths of the country’s southeast hit especially hard, according to the Office of State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters. Virtually all of the country’s major rivers were swollen, while water levels in lakes along the mighty Yangtze River were higher than in 1998, when catastrophic flooding killed about 4,000 people.