Pakistan and India have been experiencing devastating floods. They have affected more than one million people and have claimed over 450 lives. The rescue operations have proved to be slow, sparking the anger in many citizens.
In Pakistan, authorities destroyed an embankment to direct the floodwater in a different direction. The minister of defense, Khawaja Asif, said that the extreme decision was made to “avert catastrophe” and save the lives of villagers. However, it has been reported that 200 villages have been flooded as a result. The region’s airports have become places filled with chaos as tourists and workers struggle to depart from the dangerous areas. Not only is the weather angry, but the people are too. A rescue officer was injured by angry mobs of residents. Omar Abdullah, the Chief Minister, attempted to soothe the citizens by understanding with their anger.
“We have really been overwhelmed. We have been overwhelmed by the scale of the problem,” he confessed. “Our ability to supply people has been hampered by the fact that we have been unable to reach those areas. There are large parts of the city where even boats have not been able to reach. I understand their anger and I don’t grudge them on that anger. They have gone through an extremely difficult time,” he explained. These floods have been the region’s worst in five years.
In India, tired residents and their children carrying plastic bags filled with their only remaining belongings, walk to army relief camps. Many have been on the road for days, waiting for the waters to go down so they can go home.
“The situation is absolutely pathetic. We are wondering why exactly we voted for a state government that does nothing for us,” said Salim Nabi, who along his his wife and sons, has been camping with only a plastic sheet for shelter.
The phone networks are not functional because the floodwater has destroyed many cables, hindering communication. The Indians have been relying on social media to be informed about the status of their relatives. It has also proven to be a useful tool for telling authorities where to find victims.
Over 400,000 people are still stranded and without help. Soldiers have been giving medical relief to those in need and searching for those trapped. Hundreds of boats and planes have sent to aid the relief effort. More than 77,000 people have been rescued thus far.
– Anna Wan