NPR logo Pakistan Flood Misery Spreads, Hits New Areas

Pakistan Flood Misery Spreads, Hits New Areas

NPR's Julie McCarthy has been closely covering the flooding in Pakistan, traveling in South Punjab. She's had some nervous moments since the rampaging waters of the Indus and other rivers don't distinguish between the displaced Pakistanis and Western journalists.

She reports Wednesday that the misery is spreading. On the network's newscast, she said:

As the flood waters move inexorably south, the humanitarian crisis is widening.

In the Southern Punjab city of Shehr Sultan, residents watched as new areas were jeopardized. Angry locals complained that the government had told them the waters were receding. But a canal that the community elders say has been dry for a decade was raging with water threatening to overflow, worsening the damage already done to mango orchards and cotton fields.

The southern lowlands where the floods have expanded are some of Pakistan's richest farmland and the worst hit were those least able to cope: poor rural populations that are suffering from too little food, clean water and medicine.

The UN said while donors are realizing the scale of the disaster, the challenges are massive "and, the flood is not over."

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