A letter from a friend of a friend, received in UK yesterday:
“I am in Pakistan at the moment. I arrived at Karachi on Tuesday morning. On my arrival, I was told to stay there as Sukkur was on high alert. I could not stay in Karachi as the more I heard the news the more worried I became about my family- I thought I would go mad. In the news, I heard a guy told a story of his ill mother who was washed away in front of his eyes. He was devastated as he could not save her.
To cut a long story short, my brother and I managed to find a bus going to Sukkur. We were told halfway through our journey to go back to Karachi because Sukkur would be flooded any minute. We stopped for a while but the whole bus decided to head to Sukkur. It was a very emotional decision. Most of the people on the bus were either volunteers or people whose families lived in the city. The driver was also from Sukkur.
We were not sure what we would find when we get there. As we entered the city and drove past the river we all gasped because it seemed that it would spill over and would most certainly swallow the whole city. We saw lots of army forces near the river as there was also a threat that the terrorist would try to damage the bank of the river to cause as much damage as possible. We also saw thousands of bewildered people who left their homes with the hope of finding a refuge in Sukkur only to find themselves in danger again.. It was a heartbreaking experience.
I guess nobody in Sukkur slept that night. But the army decided to re-direct the water and flooded lots of villages nearby as the cost of re-building the city would have been far higher. They managed to evacuate most of the villages.
We all feel very guilty. Lots of the flood victims are now seeking shelter in Sukkur. We are all doing our best to help them. Lots of the villagers are staying in the schools, railway stations, hospitals and on the side of the road near our house too. We visited them yesterday and today to give food, clothes and water. We all felt very sad as it could have been us!
The Pakistani army has risen to the challenge and has become a superstar amongst the people. The flood victims told us stories of their bravery – how they saved drowning women and children. They were calling them their heroes. We all felt very proud of them.
It has been a long time since I felt so proud. In fact the army saved Sukkur too! I wish our democratic government also could have done the same.
We are expecting some more water coming our way; it would reach Sukkur in the next couple of days. So we are not out of danger yet. Let’s hope this nightmare would be over soon.
I would request you to donate as much as you can to the charity of your choice in the UK. Every little penny counts!”