Chinese rescue team arrives in worst flood-hit Pakistani province

11:46, August 28, 2010      

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A Chinese search and rescue team arrived Friday in the southern Pakistani city of Thatta, Sindh Province, where heavy floods are washing away hundreds of villages.

Assisted by local authorities, the 55-member Chinese rescue team set up tents and field hospitals at Thatta police headquarters to provide medical services to flood victims.

Head of the Chinese rescue team, Huang Jianfa, said they decided to come to the worst flood-hit region as there were already many rescue organizations providing aid in northwestern regions and the east city of Multan.

The rescue team would conduct relief operations in the worst-hit areas in south Pakistan for at least three weeks and help flood victims fight water-borne and other diseases, he said.

Pakistani authorities ordered an evacuation from Thatta, 100 km northeast of the provincial capital Karachi, after the swollen Indus river burst its banks.

Chinese diplomats to Pakistan said about 1.3 million people were displaced, 100,000 evacuated, 10,000 stranded and 130 villages submerged in Thatta, adding that the number of people hit by infectious diseases, such as diarrhoea, was on sharp rise.

Sindh province is now the worst-affected in Pakistan in terms of surface area. Out of its 23 districts, 19 have been ravaged by floods, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Friday.

On Wednesday, China decided to donate an additional 60 million yuan (9.2 million U.S. dollars) of emergency humanitarian aid to Pakistan, on top of more than 60 million yuan.

The Chinese team including 36 doctors and 19 experts and engineers arrived in Rawalpindi near the capital Islamabad on Thursday along with 25 tons of high-tech medical equipment and medicines.

The month-long devastating floods, the worst in Pakistan's history, have killed at least 1,600 people, affected over 20 million and destroyed 900,000 homes.

Source: Xinhua


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