Landslides complicate flood relief efforts

People carry their belongings in Muzaffargarh.—AP

MINGORA: Landslides triggered by the worst floods in Pakistan in 80 years are hampering already troubled relief efforts, with aid workers using donkeys or travelling on foot to reach millions in desperate need of help.

Poor weather has made it difficult for helicopters to deliver food to some parts of the Swat Valley and among the areas first hit by the deluge.

Many roads have been destroyed and landslides have added to the isolation of many areas.

“It's hard to get supplies there. I would like to emphasise we are moving by foot or donkey. We are making all kinds of possible efforts. We are unable to get in to most places of Swat Valley,” said Maurizio Giuliano, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

An army spokesman in Swat said there had been landslides that blocked the main road leading to the valley. Relief efforts have resumed but helicopters are not able to reach parts of valley because of rain, he said.

“We are using 100 mules to transport relief to far-flung areas where helicopters could not fly because of bad weather,” the army spokesman said.

The army has distributed nearly 100 tonnes of food and other relief goods to three areas of Swat.
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