Friday, September 30, 2011

Unprepared Pakistan faces nature's fury

Shahzad Raza in the Friday Times (Pakistan): Better abolish the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), writes National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani. There is no reply so far. The speaker hails from Badin, the worst flood-hit district in Sindh province. She believes the organisations like NDMA are defaming the People's Party government.

The letter shows her anger and frustration over what she calls the poor performance of the NDMA. She deplores the poor response of the authority to provide immediate relief to the homeless people. Khurram Ahmed, the NDMA Spokesman, differs with the idea of abolishing the authority. He says the authority was established under an act of Parliament and enjoys the mandate of the elected representatives.

He defends the NDMA saying the disasters are occurring all over the world with an unprecedented rate. He argues the Met Office had predicted 10 percent less rain in Sindh compared to last year. And the NDMA prepared itself according to the Met Office predictions. He says the NDMA post disaster efforts are extraordinary as it mobilised 166,000 tents to provide shelter to the homeless people of Sindh.

The calamity Pakistan faces is beyond imagination. End of Mayan Calendar or abnormal galactic alignment: Pakistan does not require a cataclysmic activity for devastation beyond imagination. The process seems to have already begun and, though gradual, is getting momentum....

A satellite image of 2010 flooding in Pakistan. Unable to find images from this year's floods -- an ominous sign

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