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More flood warnings in Pakistan

The UN has warned of a second wave of deaths if help does not arrive soon. Heavy rains have hampered relief efforts and hundreds of thousands of people are in urgent need of food, water and medical supplies.

An aerial view of the floods in Punjab

An aerial view of the floods in Punjab

Up to 14 million people are affected, two million are homeless and at least 1,600 have died in the worst floods in Pakistani history. Major rivers have swollen to up to five times their size in torrential monsoon rains, flooding the country's mountain valleys and fertile plains.

Whole villages are under water and many remain inaccessible because of broken bridges and flooded access roads. Hundreds of thousands of survivors require urgent assistance.

There is growing anger at the lack of adequate response from the authorities. The government has appealed for more aid from the international community. The United Nations has said that so far only a quarter of the $459 million (359 million euros) needed for emergency relief has arrived.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani

UN Secretary General has seen "nothing like this" before

On Sunday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asked the international community "to speed up assistance to the Pakistani people" after seeing an aerial view of the flooded regions. He said he had seen "nothing like this" before despite being the witness of many natural disasters.

On Monday, the authorities warned that there could be more floods in the southern province of Sindh, where the swollen Indus River has already submerged thousands of villages.

The city of Jacobabad, with its population of 300,000, is at major risk. A quarter of the population has already moved out, officials said.

Fears of epidemics and food crises

As relief workers struggle to deliver aid and especially fresh drinking water to millions of refugees in camps and government buildings, there is a growing fear that there could be an outbreak of water-borne disease. There have already been thousands of reports of suspected cases of acute diarrhea.

Moreover, officials fear that there could be a serious food crisis. On Sunday, five children were reported dead from hunger in the Kohistan region, which stretches from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to the Afghan province of Nuristan and has been cut off from the rest of the country.

Flood survivors jostle for supplies given by volunteers

Flood survivors jostle for supplies given by volunteers

Abdul Sattar Khan, a local lawmaker, travelled to Besham in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to appeal for help, saying that the upper area was completely isolated and could only be reached by helicopter.

"So far there has been no helicopter service for that region," he told the German news agency, dpa. "Our own government is completely ignoring us."

He explained that most of the reserves of maize had been destroyed and that most of the cattle had already been slaughtered, leaving very little to eat.

Editor: Disha Uppal

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