Pak floods 'greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history': UN

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Islamabad, Aug 10(ANI): The United Nations (UN) has rated the floods in Pakistan as the greatest humanitarian crisis in recent history.

According to assessment done by the UN, the number of people suffering from the massive floods could exceed the combined total in three recent mega disasters-the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Although the current 1,600 death toll in Pakistan represents a tiny fraction of the estimated 610,000 people killed in the three previous events, some two million more people - 13.8 million - have suffered losses requiring long or short-term help.

"This disaster is worse than the tsunami, the 2005 Pakistan earthquake and the Haiti earthquake," The Telegraph quoted Maurizio Giuliano, a spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as saying.

The floods first struck the western province of Baluchistan on July 22 before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh.

According to reports, "Pakistan's worst national disaster" is threatening greater damage as relief and rescue work have been hit badly by continuous rains, particularly in the north western region.

The Pakistan Army is leading the relief effort by evacuating people, distributing drinking water, food, medical aid and repairing bridges and roads.

Earlier, UN Special Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan, Jean-Maurice Ripert, had said that Pakistan would need billions of dollars to recover from the unprecedented devastation caused by the floods.ipert said that the UN was still calculating specific figures, but "the emergency phase will require hundreds of millions of dollars and the recovery and reconstruction part will require billions of dollars".

He also said that the foreign aid could be difficult to procure given the ongoing financial crisis around the world.

According to officials, water from swollen rivers has also entered occupied Kashmir, where more than 130 people have reportedly been killed. Some parts of Punjab are said to be under six feet of water.

The world famous ancient remains of Mohenjodaro are also under threat from the swollen Indus River in the Sindh province.

Over 900,000 cusecs of water is expected to enter Sindh through the Indus River raising fears over the safety of Mohenjodaro, which was declared a World Heritage site by the UN in 1980. (ANI)

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