Pakistan

Pakistan: Monsoon Floods - Information Bulletin n° 2

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The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

This Bulletin (no. 02/2005) is being issued for information only, and reflects the status of the situation and information available at this time . The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation at this time.

The Situation

The flood situation in Pakistan has deteriorated in the past week with over 200,000 people directly affected. The Indus River is in medium flood as a result of the spill over from the Tarbela dam, in addition to the already high floods in the Kabul, Swat and Chitral Rivers.

In North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the worst affected districts are Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera where large areas along the Kabul River and its tributaries have been inundated. Eighty-six villages have been affected to date with approximately 2,500 houses damaged. People continued to be evacuated by the authorities with the number moved to safer areas now over 150,000. Crops are submerged under up to 2.5 metres (8 feet) of water in some areas. Many farmers have suffered significant losses in terms of crops and live stock. Authorities estimate that over 60,000 hectares of crops have been affected in the province. Irrigation infrastructure and machinery have also been damaged.

In addition, the floods have affected five Afghan refugee camps situated in NWFP. More than 1,000 refugee families have been affected with 250 families made homeless.

Water levels in Chitral River are reported to be the highest since 1978 and have caused excessive damage to the road network and villages in the vicinity. Extensive damages has also been reported from the Kalash Valley.

In the Northern Areas, thousands of people have been affected with hundreds of houses washed away by flood waters in the Ghanche district. It is estimated that approximately 50,000 fruit and forest trees have been destroyed. Many suspension bridges have been damaged or washed away.

In Punjab province, a large number of villages have been inundated in Layyah district due to flash floods. Officials estimate that up to 50,000 people have been affected. Standing cotton and sugar cane crops have been destroyed. Many farmers and their families are marooned in their mud houses, awaiting assistance.

The release of 566,200 cusecs of water on the Indian side of the border in the Chenab River has contributed to flooding in areas in the Punjab on the Pakistan side. The flooding has led to a state of emergency being declared in Sialkot, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhang and Chiniot. The government with the assistance of the military is evacuating people from affected areas.

The flooding situation has affected Pakistan for the past two weeks. It has been caused by a combination of the monsoon rains, and higher than usual snow melt caused by a combination of heavy snowfalls in January and a recent heat wave.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

As a result of assessments carried out last week in the most vulnerable districts in NWFP and the Northern Areas, the Pakistan Red Crescent Society has begun distributing relief items. To date, the following relief items have been despatched from the national headquarters and the NWFP and Balochistan braches:

Distribution Area
Relief items
NWFP
(Nowshera, Swat, Charsadda and Peshawar)
135 tents
1,700 blankets
635 plastic sheets
1,535 water containers
10 bales mixed clothes
Medicines and 10,000 water purifying tablets
1,650 food parcels
Northern Areas (Gilgit, Skardu and Astore) 100 tents
300 blankets,
10 bales mixed clothes
Medicines and 6,000 water purifying tablets
400 food parcels

The Pakistan Red Crescent has also put medical teams comprisin g of doctors and paramedics on standby for targeted flood-hit areas in the event of epidemics.

Earlier, the national society launched a national appeal for PKR 5 million (CHF 108,000) which is ongoing. The national society has been occupied with relief activities since early this year which has stretched its resources. The Pakistan Red Crescent will continue to monitor the development of the flood situation and may consider launching an international appeal.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Islamabad: Khalid Kibriya, Pakistan Red Crescent Society Secretary General; phone: +92.51.9250 405; fax: +92.51.925 0408

In Islamabad: Irja Sandberg, Head of Delegation; email: ifrcpk08@ifrc.org; phone: +92.51.925 0416; fax: +92.51.925 0418

In New Delhi: Robert McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation; email: ifrcin02@ifrc.org; phone: + 91.11.2685 8671; fax: +91.11.2685 7567

In Geneva: Jagan Chapagain, Regional Officer, Asia and Pacific Department, email: jagan.chapagain@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4316; fax: +41.22.733.0395 or Nelly Khrabraya; email: nelly.khrabraya@ifrc.org; phone: +41.22.730.4306

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct (1) and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

Note: (1) Principles of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Response Programmes