Heavy monsoon rains in Pakistan have destroyed thousands of homes, roads, bridges and farms for the third year in a row. The 2010 floods were the worst in recent history, with a fifth of the country underwater. The 2011 and 2012 floods also caused damage across vast areas. Caritas Pakistan Executive Director Amjad Gulzar says that the current situation is already worse than the last two years. With more heavy rain expected over the coming weeks, the situation may get much worse. Caritas staff members are on the ground working with people in need. Read an interview with Amjad Gulzar followed by a radio interview with Andrew Schaefer, the Country Representative for CRS Pakistan. What has been the impact of the floods? The whole country experienced a second spell of the monsoon from 31 July to 4 August. The heavy showers triggered flash floods in different parts and caused widespread loss […]
By Amjad Gulzar, Executive Director Caritas Pakistan
A strong earthquake of 7.8 magnitude hit Pakistan at 15.44 hours (10.44 GMT ) today. The tremors were felt in Islamabad, Lahore, Abbottabad, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Quetta, Multan, Kohat, Hangu, Bannu, Dir and many other areas across Pakistan.
According to Pakistan Meteorological Department the latitude of earthquake was 26.65 North and longitude was 61.60 East with its epicenter in Southern Iran near the Pakistan Iran Boarder.
The tremors spreading panic among the people who came out of their houses for safety. The epicenter is said to be in Iran The worst affected areas in Pakistan is Mashki some 580 Km from Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan in the south west of Pakistan. Travel time from Quetta to Mashaki is around 15-16 hours by road.
Till about an hour back 21 deaths had been reported and over 100 injured in the city of about 30000-35000 population. There […]
By Jennifer Hardy, CRS Communications Officer
When Typhoon Bopha swept through Mindanao in the Philippines on 3 December, hundreds of thousands of people found themselves without shelter that night. New Bataan was especially hard hit. The neighbourhood of Andap lost 300 homes in a devastating mudslide. More than 900 people are reported missing since the storm, including 300 people in New Bataan alone.
Those who survived say they feel blessed to be alive, but for those who escaped the mudslide in Andap, they faced the morning of 4 December with nothing but the clothes they were wearing that night.
Olimpio Leon lost his home, and members of his extended family, in the mudslide. He is now staying with his wife and children in an evacuation centre in the local high school.
“Around four in the morning, the sky was dark with the storm and the winds were very strong,” he recalls of Bopha’s […]
Caritas teams continue to fan out over the southern Philippine island of Mindanao to help families suffering because of massive flash flooding. Close to 1000 people are confirmed dead, and whole sections of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City were washed away. Tens of thousands of people are living in evacuation centres like university gyms.
Caritas Philippines, known within the country as NASSA, sent a team to the Diocese of Iligan. Catholic Relief Services (CRS), a Caritas member from the USA, has a team on the ground in Cagayan de Oro. A team from CAFOD (Caritas UK) was one of the first to reach certain washed-away coastal areas (see photos).
In Cagayan de Oro, one of worst-affected areas, families are without access to clean water. Assessment teams report cramped quarters and poor sleeping conditions in the evacuation centres. Families also lack containers like buckets to store clean water. Some people are […]
Monsoon rains and typhoons have inundated large areas of Asia, particularly in the Philippines, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Thousands of people have fled their homes; others are living on roofs. Caritas teams are distributing aid and helping families recover when their homes are damaged and their crops swept away.
Caritas Philippines (locally called NASSA) is responding to typhoon damage in several dioceses. More than 5000 people are living in evacuation centres. Many more families are staying at home despite 7-foot-high water; they are living on second floors or staying with relatives who have two-storey houses. Caritas is distributing vouchers to 10,000 families for food, soap, detergent, and other necessities.
In Cambodia, where floods have affected over 100,000 families, Caritas teams are on the ground in several provinces. Thousands of families have been evacuated to pagodas, schools and other government buildings. They lack food and health care. Caritas Cambodia is giving families […]
In summer 2011, heavy monsoon rains inundated southern Pakistan, an area already reeling from massive floods in 2010. Here, a survivor tells her story.
My name is Shakeela Mohammad Bakhsh. I live in Badin along with my two brothers and sisters. We are living under the guardianship of our uncle because our father died.
I still remember the night of July 22, 2011. We were all sleeping—it was 3 a.m. Suddenly we heard the noise of flood waves reaching our house. The water level was rising fast, too fast for us to carry some household items. We heard the cries and moans of the people around us calling for help and rescue.
At last, some rescue teams came for us and carried us to a safer place. Here, we were alone, and had nothing to eat or drink with us. Adding woes to worries, my brother fell ill and we did not […]
Caritas is supporting families caught in devastating floods in Pakistan in Sindh and northern Punjab. Heavy monsoon rains in August and September have caused flooding that has affected 5.3 million people
Caritas Internationalis Secretary General Michel Roy on a visit to Pakistan said, “There is an urgent need to help the millions of people affected by these floods. It’s a double tragedy as only last year some of the worst flooding in living memory overwhelmed huge swathes of the country. Again, the poorest and most vulnerable have been affected and they need our support. The 2011 floods underline the need to prepare and protect communities from future flooding. ”
Getting enough resources to people in need is a major challenge due to ongoing heavy rains across southern Sindh.
Shelter is an urgent need with over a million houses either destroyed or damaged. Over 300,000 people are now in relief camps, but most […]
A heavy downpour in the last twenty-four hours has caused further flooding in Sindh in southern Pakistan as monsoon rains affect 4.9 million. Flooding in Baluchistan is causing further misery.
In some of the worst affected areas of Sindh, 166mm of rain fell in a day. Over one million houses have been damaged so far.
Floods in Pakistan in the summer of 2010 were the worst in 80 years.
One-fifth of the country lay underwater, 18 million people struggled to find food and water and to keep a roof over their heads. Sindh was one of the worst affected parts of the country.
Caritas Pakistan’s National Coordinator for disaster Management Eric Dayal said earlier by phone that the current flooding in Sindh was almost the same in severity as last year.
Badin escaped flooding last year, but has been particularly badly hit in 2011. The district administration has set up 142 relief camps at […]
Amjad Gulzar, National Executive Secretary of Caritas Pakistan
The first flood anniversary brings back many memories; both happy and sad. We supported the victims in times of pain and suffering but there were many whom we could not reach in time. Caritas Pakistan, helped generously through its international partners and played vital role of bringing relief and help to thousands who suffered the tragedy.
The disaster last year was the worst in the history of the country. Nearly 20 million people were affected by massive floods and heavy rain during July and August 2010.
We shall continue our efforts in the rehabilitation phase with a focus on reconstruction, livelihood restoration, provision of health services and safe drinking water as well as psychosocial care support.
Caritas Pakistan in collaboration with National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has organised a preparedness course this year. The training involved our Country Disaster Management Team keeping in view the […]
Available in French Eric Dayal, National Coordinator for Disasters at Caritas Pakistan I’ve been to many of the affected areas since the floods and things have changed. People have started moving towards normal life in many respects. Now there are almost no camps and people have gone back to their villages. Many lives have been saved and people are getting food, medical facilities, clean water and shelter. There are still some people living in tents but many are making permanent houses. Caritas Pakistan has been providing roofing and construction materials to help with this.
The fishing communities who survive on the produce of Manchar Lake in Sindh, Pakistan could never have imagined that the source of their livelihoods would one day destroy everything they owned. The lake is the biggest in Pakistan and has sustained generations of their families, with 20,000 people currently dependent on it for their survival.
Yet, last summer, the lake wiped away everything they had worked so hard to build-up. Encouraged by the onrushing rivers and tributaries which feed into it, Manchar Lake rose up and swallowed the villages that surround it.
Thankfully for the people who live there, Trócaire (Caritas Ireland) and the Pakistani Fisherfolk Forum (PFF), a nationwide organisation representing the needs of fishing communities, had piloted an emergency preparedness programme in the communities. Fearing the onset of flooding, the programme equipped the communities with loudspeakers, radios and a colour-coded flag system to warn when water was reaching dangerous […]
By Laura Sheahen, Catholic Relief Services
On a day in September 2010, a group of white-bearded men left their mountaintop village in Pakistan and wended their way down 5000 feet of steep, rocky slopes. None of them were young; one used a cane. At the base of the mammoth mountain, a river had burst its banks and destroyed the only bridge leading where they needed to go. The men waited hours to make a precarious journey across the water on a hastily-constructed rope trolley—a tiny open crate that swung and wobbled each of them over the river.
After a difficult journey, the men finally reached their destination: a Catholic Relief Services (a US member of Caritas) office in the town of Besham. Getting from their village to Besham was normally a rough, bumpy two hours by car. But during the massive flooding of summer 2010, the journey took far longer.
The men […]