Pakistan’s monsoon flood ordeal is far from over. Hundreds of thousands more people have had to flee their homes after fresh flooding in the southern Sindh province, which has had 19 of its 23 districts inundated.
Aid agencies say that at least 8 million people have been driven from their homes, and 1,600 have died. More than 45 major bridges and thousands of miles of roads have been destroyed or badly damaged.
Agriculture has also been severely hit. The Minister for Food says about a fifth of Pakistan’s crop growing areas have been flooded. More than a million farm animals have been drowned, farm equipment and irrigation infrastructure has been damaged, and there are worries that fields will be too waterlogged for farmers to sow winter wheat.
The total damage suffered by the country is put at up to £26bn. With Russian wheat production also badly hit by a drought, there’s growing concern about world food supplies.
* My book London’s Disasters has been reviewed by the Londonist website. http://londonist.com/2010/09/book_review_london_disasters_by_joh.php