CWS situation report - Pakistan Storms 27 Jun 2007

SITUATION: Heavy rains continue to fall in Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, and in surrounding areas throughout southern Pakistan. Parts of the city are still without power and basic amenities, and there is concern that unless cleanup efforts are implemented soon, health issues - such as water-borne diseases - will become a serious problem, Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan reported. More than 300 persons have died from storm-related damage and flooding.

Meanwhile the province of Balochiatan is coping with the after-effects of Cyclone Yemyin, in which 10 people died and some 60,000 persons have been displaced; at least 35 villages have been inundated. That storm resulted in wide scale damage of roads, communication links, crops and houses. Thousands of people were evacuated from the Hingo and Kech districts, especially Turbat city which was subiect to massive flooding as rivers burst their banks. The residents of flooded areas took refuge in hospitals, schools, mosques and even in date trees. Affected areas of Balochistan have become cut off from the rest of the country, as major highways and bridges have been damaged, or in some cases washed away.

CWS RESPONSE: Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan has conducted its first assessment in Gadap, one of the worst-hit towns, about 34 miles from Karachi.

Out of the eight local units in Gadap, four were badly hit, with Gujro and Sangul being the worst affected, Church World Service Pakistan/Afghanistan reported. One thousand homes have been either severely damaged or completely destroyed. Twenty-four have been reported dead, with 250 injured, including a high number of women and children. Four hundred livestock are reported missing, which will have an immediate economic impact in the area where most people make their living from agriculture. In addition, 75 poultry farms have been destroyed. The overall cost to the region has been thus far estimated at 200 million rupees, just under $3.5 million, according to a local government official.

The CWS response includes immediate use of CWS Rapid Response Funds for 1,000 family food packages, containing such basic items as wheat, rice and cooking oil. The response is also to include the distribution of 1,000 non-winterized tents.

A second assessment is being carried out today by CWS and by partner Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) to further ascertain where relief and aid needs to be prioritized. CWS has a long history of work in the southern districts of Pakistan, and in previous years has been instrumental in providing response and relief to those areas regularly hit by floods and severe weather conditions.

For further information about disasters to which Church World Service is responding please visit or call the CWS Hotline, (800) 297-1516.

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