Pakistani Flood Waters Just Beginning to Recede

WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2010 — Flood waters are just begin­ning to recede in Pak­istan, but it will be months before the full extent of the dam­age can be assessed, U.S. offi­cials said.

Between 15 mil­lion and 20 mil­lion Pak­ista­nis have been impact­ed by the flood­ing and about 1,500 have been killed. The Unit­ed States imme­di­ate­ly pledged its sup­port and the U.S. Embassy in Islam­abad began coor­di­nat­ing mis­sions with the Pak­istani gov­ern­ment. Amer­i­can human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance for Pak­istan has come at the request of its gov­ern­ment, offi­cials said. 

Over­all, the Unit­ed States is pro­vid­ing $200 mil­lion in flood-relief aid to Pak­istan – includ­ing $10 mil­lion in oper­a­tions costs for aircraft. 

Heavy mon­soon rains pro­duced an influx of water that began over­flow­ing the banks of the Indus Riv­er and its trib­u­taries at the end of July. Since then, U.S. mil­i­tary per­son­nel have been work­ing con­tin­u­ous­ly to pro­vide aid and relief to Pak­ista­nis strick­en by the flood, Defense Depart­ment offi­cials said. Six U.S. Army heli­copters and crews based in Afghanistan began the aid effort in Pak­istan on Aug. 3. Amer­i­can mil­i­tary air­crews flew across Khy­ber-Pah­tunkhwa province and res­cued thou­sands of peo­ple strand­ed by flood waters as unusu­al­ly heavy mon­soon rains pum­meled the north­west­ern por­tion of Pakistan. 

On July 31, U.S. mil­i­tary began air­lift­ing Halal — reli­gious­ly per­mit­ted — meals to a Pak­istani air base locat­ed near Islam­abad, the country’s cap­i­tal city. 

Nine­teen heli­copters from the USS Peleliu began fly­ing mis­sions in sup­port of Pak­istani efforts soon after, allow­ing the Army heli­copters to return to mis­sions in Afghanistan. Air Force C‑130s also began shut­tling imme­di­ate human­i­tar­i­an goods and U.S. Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment sup­plies around Pakistan. 

Yes­ter­day, the Pen­ta­gon announced that 18 heli­copters from Alas­ka – 10 Chi­nooks and eight Black Hawks – will deploy to Pak­istan and begin oper­a­tions in mid-Sep­tem­ber. The USS Kearsarge has deployed ear­ly and will relieve the Peleliu some­time at the end of September. 

Today, U.S. heli­copters res­cued 625 peo­ple and flew in 114,000 pounds of sup­plies. Afghanistan-based C‑130s deliv­ered about 55,000 pounds of goods. 

Over­all, U.S. heli­copters have res­cued 9,433 peo­ple and flown in 1.7 mil­lion pounds of goods. C‑130s have deliv­ered 985,000 pounds of sup­plies since oper­a­tions began, said Pen­ta­gon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan. 

U.S. sup­port will con­tin­ue as long as the Pak­istani gov­ern­ment needs – and requests – the help. 

“We’ve respond­ed imme­di­ate­ly to Pakistan’s requests for sup­port as they’ve come in,” Lapan said. “With regard to the arrival of our heli­copters, it’s been the plan all along to bring these air­craft into Pak­istan in a phased approach to ensure base infra­struc­ture is ready to sup­port the addi­tion­al heli­copters and asso­ci­at­ed per­son­nel.” Four U.S. Marine heli­copters are slat­ed to arrive in Pak­istan lat­er in the week to assist with flood-relief operations. 

It’s impor­tant to note that the flood­ing in Pak­istan has been an evolv­ing sit­u­a­tion, Lapan said. Unlike the 2005 earth­quake, he said, the impact of the cur­rent Pak­istan floods “was not imme­di­ate and assess­ments of dam­age and sup­port require­ments have tak­en longer due to the scope and dura­tion of the problem. 

“We con­tin­ue to remain in close con­tact with the Pak­istan gov­ern­ment to be respon­sive to their needs,” he added, “which will like­ly evolve over time as the flood waters recede and recov­ery begins.” 

The flood waters in Pak­istan spread from the north­west­ern part of the coun­try down the Indus Riv­er to the more pop­u­lat­ed states of Pun­jab, Balochis­tan and Sindh. Aside from the loss of life, hun­dreds of thou­sands of build­ings, miles of roads and rail­road tracks, lev­ees, dams and oth­er infra­struc­ture projects suf­fered dam­age. Mil­lions of Pak­ista­nis ren­dered home­less by the floods are camp­ing along the lim­it­ed high ground that exists in cer­tain areas. 

Now the waters are start­ing to recede. But the floods that washed out bridges and roads have made whole areas of Pak­istan impas­si­ble. U.S. offi­cials said that the gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan can count on Amer­i­can sup­port as it begins its long-term recovery. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →