Large areas of Pakistan's Punjab Province has been severely affected by floodwater from three major rivers.
Large areas of Pakistan's Punjab Province has been severely affected by floodwater from three major rivers. Several cities have already been isolated, as road and rail links have been cut.
The provincial governor has put his administration on a "war footing" to assist in flood relief, and amphibious and air-borne army units have already rescued several thousand marooned people.
Scores of Punjabis are already feared dead, although it is felt that the death-toll will rise as the floodwater recede.
Officials in the province feel that it is too early to assess the damage to crops and livestock in these, the worse floods in the area for 15 years.
SYNOPSIS: Several hundred people are feared dead in Pakistan's Punjab province, as a result of the worst flooding there in twenty-five years. Waters from their major rivers in the region have already inundated several hundred square miles, and it is feared that the heavy rain of the past few day will aggravate the situation.
The province's governor has put his administration on what he calls "a war footing". Army amphibious and helicopter units have been called in to assist with rescue operations. So far, they have rescued several thousand marooned Punjabis, and the helicopters have dropped food to those stranded on roof-tops. Rescue work has been severely hampered as many of the province's roads and railways have been destroyed by floodwater.
Officials estimate that about 26,000 homes have been destroyed and that 600,000 acres of cotton and rice land have been flooded. Helicopter pilots have reported that vast areas are under deep water.
Two Punjab cities, both with populations of about 100,000, are reported to be under several feet of water, and all road and rail links with the provincial capital, Lahore, have been cut.
The Pakistani government has cancelled plans for Tuesday's Independence Day celebrations, and has announced the formation of a ministerial committee to investigate damage and recommend relief measures.