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Desperate Flood Victims Search for Food in South Pakistan

7 years ago969 views

Residents of a flood-stricken village groped their way across the countryside in southern Pakistan on Monday, in search of food for their hungry families.

They were following a half-submerged railway track to a neighboring village of Shikarpur.

[Hussain, Jacobabad Resident]:
"Our children are starving in the village, so we are trying to get to Shikarpur. We are not getting anything to eat. What is there to eat? Who should we turn to, to ask for help? Should we ask the government, the same government that is doing nothing for us?"

Villagers were struggling to keep a firm footing in the gushing floodwaters.

Another Jacobabad resident said families had been left behind in their hometown because it was impossible for women and children to cross the slippery track on foot.

[Abdul Razzak, Jacobabad Resident]:
"There are no boats. You can see there is no way (to cross the water). Look, the villagers are crossing the water on foot. There are snakes in the water, biting people. Children could drown, anybody carrying weight could drown. People carrying heavy packs of flour can sink in the water, but the government is doing nothing."

Authorities diverted floodwaters from Shikarpur to the Lodhra area, cutting off the railway line near the village at two places.

The endangered town of Shikarpur and a big Sui gas transmission station there were saved, but floodwaters entered the Lodhra grid station, creating a massive power outage for many towns.

Flooding in Pakistan has killed at least 1,600 people, forced more than six million from their homes, and inflicted billions of dollars of damage to infrastructure and the vital agriculture sector.

The death toll is expected to rise significantly as the bodies of the many missing people are found.