The scale of Pakistan’s flood crisis is worse than the 2004 tsunami, senior UN sources said on Monday. An estimated 15 million people have now been affected. Some 1,600 have been killed.
Ten days of flooding has ploughed a swathe of destruction from the Swat Valley in the north, to Punjab and the southern province of Sindh.
One family near Peshawar is mourning three of its members, including a little boy called Sharoz whose body was found three days after being washed away.
“I was one or one and a half kilometres away, standing in the floodwater, when a villager told me to come closer,” said the boy’s father Shams ul Qamar.
“When I went closer I saw my son’s foot. I recognised my son through his foot.”
These are the worst floods in Pakistan in 80 years.
The country’s military has led relief efforts. The government has come under harsh criticism for its perceived failure to help the millions who are suffering.
India has not been spared. In the remote Himalayan region of Ladakh, flash floods are known to have killed around 160 people. But hundreds more remain missing and at least 25,000 have been affected including foreign tourists, many of whom visit Buddhist monasteries there.
Amid the devastation, there is one incredible tale of survival. A two-year old girl was swept out of her mother’s arms as they tried to flee the flood waters.
Found later, unconscious and suffering from hypothermia, little Dilden is now being treated in hospital.