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联合国:巴基斯坦水灾的悲惨境遇超过了海地的海啸

伊斯兰堡——联合国在周一称,巴基斯坦大规模洪水受灾人数超过1300万人——超过了2004年印度洋海啸、2005年克什米尔地震和2010年海地地震受灾人口的总和。

那三个灾难中任何一个的死亡人数都高于到目前为止丧生于两周前首袭巴基斯坦的洪水的1500人。但联合国估计有1380万人受到影响——多于其他灾难总和200万。

对比有助于拟定危机的严重程度,总理在周一说这次危机是巴基斯坦历史上最严重的。政府不堪重负,水灾灾民产生广泛的愤怒,他们抱怨说援助没有足够迅速或者根本没有送达到他们那里。

联合国人道主义事务协调办公室发言人告诉美联社说,“巴基斯坦洪灾灾民人数已经超过此前3次大灾的总和。”

一个人如果需要某种形式的援助以康复,无论是短期的人道主义援助还是长期的重建帮助,他或她就被认为是受到了洪水影响。朱利亚诺说。

其他三个地方受灾人口总数约为1100万——印度洋海啸500万和每个地震的300万——朱利亚诺说。

巴基斯坦总理优素福·拉扎·吉拉尼周一说,洪水是比2005年克什米尔地震更大的一次危机。地震造成大约8万人死亡,军队在去年春天斯瓦特谷打击塔利班的行动使200万人被迫离开他们的家园。

吉拉尼在访问巴基斯坦中心城市木尔坦时说,“这场悲剧的规模是如此巨大,很难评估。”

许多受洪水影响的人来自巴基斯坦西北部开伯尔-普赫图赫瓦省。洪水由极其大的季风雨引起的。

援救人员一直无法抵达孤立在斯瓦特谷省的60万人,那里的许多居民仍试图从去年和塔利班的斗争中恢复过来,朱利亚诺说。

朱利亚诺说,“那里所有人都迫切需要援助,我们十分担心他们的处境。”

成千上万的人也不得不逃离最近几天在中部和南部省份旁遮普和信德上涨的洪水,因为大雨持续猛击全国各地。

受灾居民,曼苏尔·艾哈迈德周一说,尽管他逃离了在信德省淹没村庄,摧毁房屋的水灾,完全缺乏政府帮助意味着死亡可能是个更好的选择。

“如果我们在洪水中死亡可能更好些,因为我们现在悲惨的生活更痛苦。”艾哈迈德说,他和他的家人从希卡布尔镇逃离出来,在持续冲击该国的大雨中哆嗦了一晚上。

他说,“看到我们的人民没有食物又没有住处的生活是十分痛苦的。”

数以千计民众在邻近的希卡布尔和苏库尔地区的路边、桥梁和铁轨上露营住宿——任何他们能找到的干地——他们除身上衣物外没有其他生活用品,也许有塑料布来遮雨。

“我们能够摆脱洪水,但是饥饿也许会杀死我们。”40岁的霍拉麦说,他和其他数百人一同坐在苏库尔一条雨水浸泡的道路上。

苏库尔地区的政府高级官员伊纳穆拉·达雷乔说,政府正努力为受灾民众搭建救援帐篷,供给食品。

但走遍信德省受灾最严重地区的一个美联社记者在过去的三天并没有看到救济营或是政府援助的迹象。

在政府已经在步履维艰的经济和抵制已杀死数千人的塔利班武装分子的残酷战争中挣扎时,洪水袭击了巴基斯坦。

美国和其他国际伙伴已捐资数千万美元,并提供救灾物资和援助。

在一份声明中,奥巴马的国家安全顾问,詹姆斯·琼斯说,美国将派遣范围广泛的援助到巴基斯坦。这包括3500万经济资助,补充到750万已指定为帮助受灾地区人民,还有食物,住房,医疗用品和其他物品。

此外,美国已运餐436,000,运送12架预制桥梁,14个救援艇,6个大型水过滤装置和一台发电机。美国直升机支持救援工作,和其他美国军用飞机一起,将继续疏散滞留居民和运送物资。

琼斯说,“美国同巴基斯坦在面临这场自然灾害带来的艰难挑战时是一致的,并将继续与国际社会合作以增加援助。”

摇摇欲坠的救援工作会给强硬的伊斯兰组织造成机会,他们已经在西北提供援助。联合国巴基斯坦水灾的悲惨境遇超过了海地的海啸。 


 
UN: Pakistan flood misery exceeds tsunami, Haiti

ISLAMABAD – The number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan exceeds 13 million — more than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the United Nations said Monday.

The death toll in each of those three disasters was much higher than the 1,500 people killed so far in the floods that first hit Pakistan two weeks ago. But the U.N. estimates that 13.8 million people have been affected — over 2 million more than the other disasters combined.

The comparison helps frame the scale of the crisis, which the prime minister said Monday was the worst in Pakistan's history. It has overwhelmed the government, generating widespread anger from flood victims who have complained that aid is not reaching them quickly enough or at all.

"The number of people affected by the floods is greater than the other three disasters combined," Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told The Associated Press.

A person is considered affected by the floods if he or she will need some form of assistance to recover, either short-term humanitarian aid or longer-term reconstruction help, said Giuliano.

The total number of people affected in the three other disasters was about 11 million — 5 million in the tsunami and 3 million in each of the earthquakes — said Giuliano.

Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Monday that the floods were a bigger crisis than the 2005 Kashmir earthquake that killed nearly 80,000 people and the army's operation against the Taliban in the Swat Valley last spring that drove more than 2 million people from their homes.

"The magnitude of the tragedy is so immense that it is hard to assess," said Gilani during a visit to the central Pakistani city of Multan.

Many of the people affected by the floods, which were caused by extremely heavy monsoon rains, were in Pakistan's northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Rescue workers have been unable to reach up to 600,000 people marooned in the province's Swat Valley, where many residents were still trying to recover from last year's fight with the Taliban, said Giuliano. Bad weather has prevented helicopters from flying to the area, which is inaccessible by ground, he said.

"All these people are in very serious need of assistance, and we are highly concerned about their situation," said Giuliano.

Hundreds of thousands of people have also had to flee rising floodwaters in recent days in the central and southern provinces of Punjab and Sindh as heavy rains have continued to pound parts of the country.

One affected resident, Manzoor Ahmed, said Monday that although he managed to escape floods that submerged villages and destroyed homes in Sindh, the total lack of government help meant dying may have been a better alternative.

"It would have been better if we had died in the floods as our current miserable life is much more painful," said Ahmed, who fled with his family from the town of Shikarpur and spent the night shivering in the rain that has continued to lash the country.

"It is very painful to see our people living without food and shelter," he said.

Thousands of people in the neighboring districts of Shikarpur and Sukkur camped out on roads, bridges and railway tracks — any dry ground they could find — often with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and perhaps a plastic sheet to keep off the rain.

"We were able to escape the floodwaters, but hunger may kill us," said Hora Mai, 40, sitting on a rain-soaked road in Sukkur along with hundreds of other people.

A senior government official in Sukkur, Inamullah Dhareejo, said authorities were working to set up relief camps in the district and deliver food to flood victims.

But an Associated Press reporter who traveled widely through the worst-hit areas in Sindh over the past three days saw no sign of relief camps or government assistance.

The floods hit the country at a time when the government is already struggling with a faltering economy and a brutal war against Taliban militants that has killed thousands of people.

The U.S. and other international partners have donated tens of millions of dollars and provided relief supplies and assistance.

In a statement, Obama's national security adviser, James Jones, said that the U.S. is sending a wide range of assistance to Pakistan. That includes $35 million in financial aid, added on to the $7.5 million already designated to help people in affected areas, as well as food, shelter, medical supplies and other items.

In addition, the U.S. has delivered 436,000 meals, 12 prefabricated bridges, 14 rescue boats, six large-scale water filtration units and a generator. U.S. helicopters are supporting rescue efforts and, along with other U.S. military aircraft, will continue to evacuate stranded citizens and transport supplies.

"The United States stands with the Pakistani authorities as they face the difficult challenges this natural disaster poses and will continue to work with the international community to increase assistance," Jones said.

A faltering relief effort could open the door to hard-line Islamist groups, which have already been delivering aid in the northwest.

 


 

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