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Army launches operation in rain-hit Badin areas

Pakistan army launched a rescue operation on Monday in the rain-affected Badin district where at least half a million people have been displaced by flood water, officials said.

The recent monsoon rain has wreaked havoc across District Badin and its surrounding areas forcing a large number of residents to seek refuge in safer areas.

According to authorities in Badin, army has so far shifted nearly 100,000 people to temporary erected camps as well as in government schools and college buildings.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who flew into Badin to witness the devastation caused by the flood, directed all federal and provincial authorities to immediately respond to the needs of the affected people. He also said that compensation would be paid after the damage assessment.

Gilani asked the authorities to procure 15,000 tents on a priority basis in the first phase to provide shelter to the displaced people besides directing NADRA to provide Watan cards to the displaced people.

He also advised asked Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Farzana Raja to provide relief to the people under the programme.

The prime minister, who also distributed relief goods among the affected people, said the government following the vision of Benazir Bhutto would ensure swift relief for the masses.

Gilani said the affected districts had been declared calamity-hit areas and the Zarai Taraqiati Bank had also been asked to provide loans to the farming community.

Because of rush of people during distribution of relief goods several men and women were injured in the stampede. Majority of the displaced people were bitterly critical of the authorities who, they claimed, were not available to listen to their woes while others complained that no effort was made to save their cattle and crops.

To facilitate the displaced families Pakistan army has established a rescue camp in Shadi Larj area where it was trying to provide all possible assistance to those affected by the flood.

Affected people were facing an acute shortage of drinking water as majority of water wells in the district had been inundated by rain water.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com