London, Sep 13(ANI): Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has warned that the massive flooding in the South Asian country could have a greater impact than the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.
Although the current 1,600 death toll in Pakistan represents a tiny fraction of the estimated 400,000 people killed and 11 million affected in the two previous events, some nine million more people - 20 million - have suffered losses requiring long or short-term help.
Khan said the knock-on affects could devastate the country for years to come.
"This is a sort of unfolding tragedy where 20 million people are affected so it is in fact much bigger than the tsunami or the earthquake because over a period of time you can have famines, people have lost everything, their crops, their animals so you have 20 million people affected, no food, no house, living in open spaces with contaminated water," The Daily Express quoted Imran, as saying.
"Over a period of time this could be a bigger disaster than either the tsunami or the earthquake we had five years back," he added.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief has also launched 'The Imran Khan Flood Relief Organization', which will seek to tackle the immediate emergency work required.
"To people here I would just say this is potentially a huge disaster, it could really bring the whole country down, this is the bread basket of the country, all along the river plains is the most fertile area which has been swept away," he added.
The floods, triggered by torrential rains that started in July, first struck the western province of Baluchistan before inundating the worst-hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and then entering Punjab and Sindh.
In addition to causing major human loses, it has destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes, washed away crops and livestock. (ANI)