As Pakistan’s flood threat seeps southward, the city of Shadad Kot has largely emptied out, adding several hundred thousand to the millions of people displaced in the three week old crisis that has claimed some 1,500 lives.
The weather and geography combined against them, when as much rain fell in the mountainous north-west as the country normally receives in a year. It has been flowing southward through the plains. On Sunday, flood levels had stabilised in central Sindh but were surging further south, closer to the Arabian Sea.
Speaking in Islamabad on Sunday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister said his country was grateful for international assistance: “The solidarity and commitment which has been shown for Pakistan is greatly appreciated.”
The government has won little praise for its handling of the emergency. The UN has expressed disappointment about slower than warranted donor response.
Australia has joined the countries trying to help. A heavy transporter flew 10,000 kilometres from near Brisbane to the Indus valley. Local media said Australian Defence Forces and the AusAid agency will set up a field hospital in Kot Addu, central Pakistan. The team said it is prepared for the worst and hoping to make a difference.