Pakistan faces new death wave

The United Nations is warning of a
second wave of deaths from floods in Pakistan unless help arrives soon.

Roiling floods triggered by
unusually heavy monsoon rain have scoured Pakistan’s Indus river basin, killing
more than 1,600 people, forcing 2 million from their homes and disrupting the
lives of about 14 million people, or 8 per cent of the population.

The United Nations has launched an
appeal for $459 million dollars saying the aid would cover the next 90 days.

“If we do not respond soon
enough to the urgent needs of the population, if we do not provide life-saving
assistance as soon as is necessary, there may be a second wave of death caused
by diseases and food shortages,” said UN humanitarian operations spokesman
Maurizio Giuliano.

Hundreds of roads and bridges have
been destroyed from northern mountains to the plains of the southern province
of Sindh, where the waters have not yet crested, meaning the situation could
get worse.

Countless villages and farms have
been inundated, crops destroyed and livestock lost. In some places, families
are huddled on tiny patches of water-logged land with their animals surrounded
by an inland sea.

The United Nations says the
disaster is the biggest the country has ever faced and it would cost billions
of dollars to rehabilitate the victims and rebuild ruined infrastructure.