Image: Houses are half submerged in floodwater in Mithan Kot, in central Pakistan
Khalid Tanveer  /  AP
Houses are half submerged in floodwater in Mithan Kot, in central Pakistan, Monday, Aug. 9.
msnbc.com news services
updated 8/9/2010 7:27:05 PM ET 2010-08-09T23:27:05

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.

Blow to the economy
Meanwhile, the disaster is expected to be a major blow to Pakistan's fragile economy, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

The floods "are very likely to cause major harm to the economy in terms of loss of output and budgetary consequences," an IMF spokesman told Reuters. "In these circumstances, support from the international community will be critical."

The spokesman did not say whether the economic impact could affect Pakistan's $11.3 billion IMF program, but he said IMF officials were in touch with the authorities to assess the situation.

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.

'Living without food and shelter'
"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.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Floods ravage Pakistan

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  1. A malnourished Pakistani girl named Khadija cries at the Railway Hospital in Sukkur, Sindh province in southern Pakistan on Sept. 13. According to UNICEF, more than 100,000 children are in danger of dying of starvation. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A submerged strip of land is pictured from a Pakistani Army helicopter dropping aid in Khairpur Nathan Shah town, in the Sindh province, on Sept. 14. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Flood victims, trapped on a roof top, scramble for food rations dropped by a Pakistan Army helicopter during relief operations Sept. 14 in the submerged town of Khairpur Nathan Shah in Dadu district in Sindh province, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Internally displaced Pakistani grandmother Janal holds the hand of her three-day-old grandchild at a camp in Sukkur on Thursday, September 9. (Adek Berry / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. An aerial view of flooded areas in Jampur, Pakistan on Friday, Sept. 10. (Mk Chaudhry / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Villagers rush to board a small rescue boat operated by the Pakistani special forces Navy, north of Dadu, Sindh province, Pakistan, on Friday, September 10. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Flood victims scramble for food rations as they battle the downwash from a Pakistan Army helicopter during relief operations on Monday, September 13 in Sindh province, Pakistan. Over six weeks after flooding began, new devastation continues across the Sindh province of Pakistan, as flood waters, still on the rise, continue to overcome new villages. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Pakistani flood affected children scramble to get gifts from women volunteers as they prepare to celebrate Eid, which ends the fasting month of Ramadan, at a camp setup for displaced people in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Thursday, Sept. 9. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. The body of five-day-old Akash is carried by his uncle and accompanied by other relatives during his funeral in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district on Monday, Sept. 6. The baby died five days after he was born in a flooded village due to lack of medical support, family members said.. (Damir Sagolj / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Flood victims and relatives of five-day-old Akash grieve over his body before his funeral. (Damir Sagolj / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A Pakistani woman displaced by flooding cooks at Motehin Camp organized by Qarshi Dawakhana NGO, in Sultan on Sept. 6. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. A sick flood victim, Gulzar, 9, lies on his mother's lap in a private hospital converted into a flood relief camp providing free medical treatment at Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province, on Sept. 5. (Athar Hussain / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. A displaced Pakistani girl pumps water in an area which has been occupied by flood victims in front of the DPS thermal power station in Muzaffargah on Sept. 5. (Carl De Souza / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Pakistanis wade through floodwaters to return to their home in Sujawat, Sindh province, in southern Pakistan on Sept 4. (Vincent Thian / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A Pakistani woman walks by dead cotton crops as floodwaters slowly recede at the mostly agricultural lands of Shah Jamal village, Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Children fly a kite from the roof of an abandoned building where their families found shelter in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province on Sept. 4. (Damir Sagolj / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. An aerial view shows Pakistanis displaced by floods taking shelter on higher ground in Retla area in Punjab province on Aug. 31. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. A woman, whose familiy was displaced by floods, sits on a makeshift bed on the higher ground of a bund on Aug. 29, in Thatta. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Pakistanis affected by the floods carry a sick boy in Thatta on Aug. 29. (Pedro Ugarte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. A young flood victim drinks from a tap as others fill containers with clean water to take back to their relief camp in Nowshera on Aug. 29. (Damir Sagolj / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Villagers affected by the floods walk through the water in Thatta on Aug. 29. Torrential monsoon rains have triggered massive floods that have moved steadily from north to south over the past month, engulfing a fifth of the volatile country and affecting 17 million of its 167 million people. (Pedro Ugarte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A farmer harvests crops as he restores agricultural land near flooded areas in Multan on Aug. 29. (Shabbir Hussein Imam / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Children catch fish in flood water in Basera on Aug. 28. The United Nations has warned that up to 3.5 million children were at risk from water-borne diseases in the flood-hit country and said it was bracing to deal with thousands of potential cholera cases. (Shabbir Hussein Imam / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. People use a damaged railway track to cross heavy floodwater in Sultan Kot on Aug. 28. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. Covered with flies, a two-year-old girl, who is suffering from diarrhea, lies on her mother's lap outside her family's tent in a village in Rajanpur district of Punjab province on Aug. 28. (Asim Tanveer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. A man pauses from the task of clearing shoulder-high sediment, left by floodwaters, from his shop in Margala on Aug. 28. (Tim Wimborne / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. A man negotiates floodwaters with his chickens in the remote village of Ali Pur town in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab Province, on Aug. 28. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Six-month-old Raja rests in a hammock while his mother cooks at an overhead bridge next to a flood relief camp in Sukkur on Aug. 28. (Athar Hussain / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. A child waits for his turn to get food at a camp in Sukkur, southern Pakistan, on Aug. 28. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Boats carrying flood survivors arrive on higher ground after their evacuation from flooded areas of Jampur on Aug. 28. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. An army paramedic treats a flood-affected man at a medical center in Rajanpur District in the far south-western part of Punjab on Aug. 28. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Four-year-old flood survivor Hajani drinks her morning tea while taking refuge with her family in a relief camp in Sukkur, in Pakistan's Sindh province on Friday, Aug. 27. Officials say as many as 20 million people have been affected by Pakistan's worst flooding in 80 years. (Athar Hussain / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  33. Neighbors help each other rebuild homes destroyed by the floods after the waters receded enough for them to return to their villages in Sanawa, near Muzaffargarh, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 26. (Shabbir Hussein Imam / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  34. A young Pakistani girl, displaced from her home by flooding, helps prepare dinner for her family near Sukkur in Sindh province, Pakistan. The country's agricultural heartland has been devastated with rice, corn and wheat crops destroyed by floods. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  35. Pakistanis displaced by flooding sit outside tents at a temporary camp operated by the Pakistan Army, in Sukkar, Sindh province, southern Pakistan, Thursday, Aug. 26. (Kevin Frayer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  36. Pakistanis reach for food thrown by an aid volunteer outside a temporary camp operated by the Pakistan Army, in Sukkar, Sindh province, southern Pakistan, on Thursday Aug. 26. (Kevin Frayer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  37. Nasiba, 3-months-old, sleeps in a hammock while taking refuge from the flood with her family in a classroom in Sukkur, Pakistan, Aug. 25. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  38. People move to high ground after fresh flood warnings were issued in Jamshoro, Pakistan, Aug. 25. The United Nations has warned, that up to 3.5 million children are at risk from water-borne diseases in flood-hit Pakistan. the organization is preparing to deal with thousands of potential cholera cases. More than 1,500 people across Pakistan have been killed and hundreds of thousands stranded due to flash floods triggered by the ongoing spell of monsoon rains. (Nadeem Khawer / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  39. Allah Detta, 26, a flood affected villager suffering from high fever and spasms, receives medical treatment, Aug. 25, at the makeshift medical centre in the Sultan Colony Army flood relief camp near Muzaffargarh, Pakistan. The country's agricultural heartland has been devastated, with rice, corn and wheat crops destroyed by floods. The UN has described the disaster as unprecedented, with over a third of the country under water. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  40. Workers unload relief goods from a truck at an army relief camp at Sultan Colony in Muzaffargarh district, Punjab province, Pakistan on Aug. 25. Pakistan will have to demonstrate it can spend relief funds transparently and well if it wants more help in rebuilding after its massive floods, the U.S. aid chief said. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  41. Pakistanis displaced by floods reach out for milk during an aid distribution at a temporary camp in Sukkar, Pakistan on Aug. 25. (Kevin Frayer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  42. One and a half year old Mudasar, suffering from diarrhea, is consoled by his mother as receives treatment at the District Headquarters Hospital, Aug. 23, in Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan. Officials say as many as 20 million people have been affected during the region's worst flooding in 80 years. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  43. Pakistani flood-affected villagers wait to board an army boat as they evacuate Kamria village in the Sindh province, on Aug. 23. (Rizwan Tabassum / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  44. A Pakistani boy swims as he tries to keep his food dry in a flooded area near Basira village in Punjab on Aug. 22. U.N. agencies stepped up calls for donors to deliver on their pledges for Pakistan to prevent what UN chief Ban Ki-moon called a "slow-motion tsunami" from wreaking further catastrophe. (Pedro Ugarte / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  45. A Pakistan Army helicopter flies over the Garhi Khairoo, area near the new flood zone of Shahdakot, Pakistan on Sunday. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  46. A flood victim takes bath in a bucket while taking refuge at a relief camp in Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province Sunday. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  47. Flood victims travel through flood waters on Sunday in the village of Shah Jamaal west of Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  48. A man and a woman displaced by floods, walk through flood waters on Sunday in the village of Baseera near Muzaffargarh in Punjab, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  49. A child receives medical treatment at a local hospital in Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province Sunday. (Reinhard Krause / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  50. Flood victims line up for food distribution by the World Food Program (WFP) at a tented camp on Aug. 21 in Sukkur, Pakistan. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  51. People make their way through a flooded street on Aug. 21, in Jampur, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  52. A 7-year-old flood victim runs towards a food distribution truck while on the road with her family in Sukkur, Pakistan, on Aug. 21. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  53. U.S. Sen. John Kerry, left, talks to flood refugees as Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari looks on in Jampur, Pakistan, on Aug. 19. (B.k.bangash / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  54. A Pakistani family stands on its farm compound surrounded by flood water, near Bachel in Sindh Province, southern Pakistan, on Aug. 19. (Kevin Frayer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  55. A flood survivor hangs on to a hovercraft and waits to get relief food distributed by naval officials in Sangi Village near Sukkur in southern Pakistan on Aug. 19. (Shakil Adil / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  56. Flood victims run after a truck that the Pakistan military was using to give away aid at a tent camp Aug. 19 in Sukkur, Pakistan. The country's agricultural heartland has been devastated, with rice, corn and wheat crops destroyed by floods. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  57. Lal Pir power generating station is submerged in flood waters, further increasing a power crisis in Muzaffargarh near Multan, Pakistan on Aug. 19. Islamist terrorists may exploit the chaos and misery caused by the floods in Pakistan to gain new recruits, the country's president said. (B.k.bangash / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  58. People struggle to get relief foodstuffs distributed by volunteers at outside a camp for flood-affected people in Hyderabad, Pakistan on Aug. 18. (Pervez Masih / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  59. The Pakistani army distributes food to stranded flood victims in Basera, near Muzaffargarh in Punjab province, Pakistan on Aug. 18. (Matiullah Achakzai / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  60. A helicopter provided by the United Arab Emirates fly food supply over flood infected areas in Pakistan's near Taunsa Sharif in Punjab province Aug. 18. (Asim Tanveer / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  61. Pakistani flood victims sit in a packed a U.S. Navy MH-53E helicopter during a rescue and aid mission by the U.S. Marine Expeditionary Unit on Aug. 17 in Kalaam, Pakistan. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  62. Pakistanis displaced by flooding reach to grab a bag of food aid during a distribution on the road near the flood line outside of Sukkar, southern Pakistan, Tuesday. (Kevin Frayer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  63. A flood victim walks on a damaged railway track while crossing floodwaters to reach his village in Sultan Kot, about 31 miles from Sukkur in the Sindh province, on Tuesday, Aug. 17. The World Bank will release $900 million dollars to help fund relief efforts for Pakistan's flood disaster as international agencies warned millions of people were at risk from disease. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  64. Flood victims wait as doctor Zahid Uall treats a girl at an emergency medical center in Charsadda, in the northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, on Aug. 17. (Tim Wimborne / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  65. A flood victim holding her sibling cries after having her donated rice snatched from her by passing vehicles, along the roadside in the Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province on Aug. 16. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  66. Flood victims hang on to the back of a truck while evacuating from Pakistan's Muzaffargarh district of Punjab province on Aug. 16. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  67. Flood victims fight for relief food distributed by volunteers in Shekarpur on Aug. 16. Angry flood survivors blocked a highway to protest slow delivery of aid and heavy rain lashed makeshift housing. (Shakil Adil / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  68. A World Food Program worker sleeps on top of flour sacks in a hanger at an airbase in Pakistan's northwest Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, as poor weather prevents U.S. military helicopters from delivering aid to flood victims on Aug. 15. (Tim Wimborne / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  69. Children are reflected in a window at a camp for people affected by floods in Nowshera, Pakistan on Aug. 15. (Aaron Favila / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  70. Pakistani boys displaced by floods stand in the smoke as health workers spray against diseases at a camp in Nowshera on Saturday, Aug. 14. Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said 20 million people had been affected by the worst floods in the country's history as the United Nations confirmed the first cholera case. (A Majeed / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  71. A Pakistani flood victim sleeps on a hammock in a flooded area of Shah Jamal village on Friday, Aug. 13. Water levels receded in Pakistan but survivors of record floods endured grim conditions in makeshift tent cities, as the UN appealed for millions of dollars in urgent foreign aid. Pakistan's government says 14 million people have been affected by the floods. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  72. A combination of satellite images shows Nowshera, Pakistan, and the surrounding area on Oct. 7, 2007, on the left and on Aug. 5, 2010, on the right, after flooding struck the region. (DigitalGlobe satellite / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  73. Flood-affected people wade through water for higher ground in Muzaffargarh near Multan on Aug. 13. (K.M. Chaudary / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  74. Pakistani flood affected villagers wash themselves after digging out their belongings from the rubble of their houses in Aza Kheil near Peshawar on Friday. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  75. Pakistan army soldiers distribute food among flood survivors to break their fast on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Muzaffargarh on Aug. 12. The normally festive time is marked this year in Pakistan by misery. (K.M.Chaudary / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  76. People dodge an army truck carrying relief supplies through floodwaters in the Muzaffargarh district in Punjab province on Aug. 11. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  77. Villagers displaced from their homes travel through flood waters on the back of a truck Aug. 11 on the outskirts of Muzaffargarh in Punjab. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  78. Pakistani flood survivors catch water bottles distributed by a military helicopter in Bssera village near Muzaffargarh on Aug. 11. (Arif Ali / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  79. A refugee from Afghanistan removes debris from her flood-destroyed house in Nowshera. (A Majeed / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  80. Mohammad Omer stands with his belongings on a road near his village Karam Pur, 43 miles from Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province, as he flees rising flood waters. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  81. U.S. Army and Pakistani soldiers sit on the cargo bay ramp of a CH-47 heavy-lift helicopter while flying over a flooded area in the Swat Valley on Aug. 10. The United States has sent helicopters and naval ships to deliver supplies and rescue people. (Behrouz Mehri / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  82. Flood victims wade through waters to get to higher ground on Aug. 9, near to Kot Addu in the Muzaffargarh district in Punjab. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  83. Flood survivors receive donated food at a relief camp established by volunteers on the outskirts of Sukkur on Aug. 9. (Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  84. Children jostle for relief food in Nowshera, northwest Pakistan, on Aug. 9. (B.k. Bangash / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  85. Grandmother Miru Mai smiles as she adjusts a blanket of newborn twin grandchildren, as mother Zada Perveen lies covered up after being rescued by Pakistan soldiers during air operations Aug. 9 in the village of Sanawan in the Muzaffargarh district. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  86. Navy soldiers attempt to distribute food to stranded flood victims in Pannu Aqil, Sindh province, on Aug. 9. (Nadeem Khawer / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  87. Villagers wade through floodwaters with their livestock while looking for higher ground in Sukkur on Aug. 8. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  88. Pakistani children wait as donated food is handed out at a relief camp set up by volunteers on the outskirts of Sukkur on Aug. 9. (Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  89. Flood victims flee Pannu Aqil in Sindh province on Aug. 8. (Nadeem Khawer / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  90. A police officer uses a baton to control flood victims looting donated food from a bus in Azakhel on Aug. 8. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  91. People check an unconscious baby, who had been bitten by a snake inside her flooded house, after being rescued by a naval boat in Sukkur, Pakistan, on Aug. 8. Pakistani navy boats traveled through miles of flood waters to rescue people stranded in a disaster that has angered many over the government's response. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  92. Pakistani villagers stand on the remains of a bridge washed away by heavy flooding in Bannu on Aug. 8. (Ijaz Mohammad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  93. Marooned flood victims looking to escape grab the side bars of a hovering Army helicopter which arrived to distribute food in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province on Saturday, Aug. 7. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  94. Afghan families, also hit by the floods which have devastated Pakistan, work to rid their homes of mud, on Aug. 7 in the south of Kabul, Afghanistan. More than 500 hundred families have been forced to evacuate their homes due to flooding, which originated on the country's border with Pakistan. (Majid Saeedi / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  95. A woman and her baby wait for food handouts with other flood victims as they take refuge at a make-shift camp in Sukkur, Pakistan on Aug. 7. (Akhtar Soomro / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  96. A man walks through a flooded house in the Muzaffargarh district of Pakistan's Punjab province on Aug. 7. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  97. Afghan families, hit by the floods which have devastated Pakistan, work to rid their homes of mud, on Aug. 7, in the south of Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  98. Children, whose families have declined to be rescued, wade in rising flood waters on Friday, Aug. 6 in the village of Panu Akil, near Sukkur, Pakistan. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  99. Flood-affected people jostle for food relief in Nowshera in northwest Pakistan on Aug. 6. Stormy weather grounded helicopters carrying emergency supplies to Pakistan's flood-ravaged northwest Friday as the worst monsoon rains in decades brought more destruction to a nation already reeling from Islamist violence. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  100. A Pakistani man carries a small boat on a donkey-cart to rescue people trapped in flooded areas in Sukkur on Aug. 6. (Asif Hassan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  101. A paramedic vaccinates a child at a medical camp on the outskirts of Peshawar on August 4. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  102. In this image released on Aug. 6, severe flooding continues in northwest Pakistan. (Merlin NGO via Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  103. Pakistani army soldiers in a helicopter rescue families stranded by flood watesr in Sanawan near Multan in central Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 5. U.S. Army choppers flew their first relief missions in Pakistan's flood-ravaged northwest on Thursday, airlifting hundreds of stranded people to safety. (Khalid Tanveer / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  104. Volunteers search for victims after a passenger bus plunged into the flooded Jhelum river in Pakistani administered Kashmir on Thursday. At least 22 people were killed. (Nasiruddin Mughal / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  105. Families set in for the evening in their makeshift tent homes located on a median strip on Tuesday, August 3, in Pabi. Rescue workers and troops in northwest Pakistan struggled to reach tens of thousands of people affected by the region's worst floods since 1929, according to officials. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  106. An army personnel carries a flood victim to a helicopter in Sanawa, a town located in the Muzaffar Ghar district of Pakistan's Punjab province on Thursday. (Str/pakistan / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  107. Residents salvage valuables from their destroyed home on Wednesday, August 4, in Pabbi near to Nowshera, Pakistan. Rescue workers and troops in northwest Pakistan struggled to reach thousands of people affected by the region's worst floods since 1929, according to officials. Residents are bracing themselves for the worst as more rains are expected. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  108. Flood survivors jostle for relief food on the outskirts of Peshawar, Pakistan on Aug. 3. Relief work has been hampered by submerged roads, washed out bridges, and downed communication lines. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  109. People wait to cross a flooded road in Bannu, northwestern Pakistan on Aug. 3. (Ijaz Mohammad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  110. Residents scramble to recover water bottles dropped from a Pakistan Air Force helicopter on Monday, Aug. 2 in Nowshera, Pakistan. Rescue workers and troops in northwest Pakistan struggled to reach thousands of people affected by the region's worst floods since 1929. (Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  111. Vehicles are stuck in a traffic jam because of a demonstration by flood-affected people demanding the government provide aid to victims in Nowshera on Monday. (Anjum Naveed / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  112. A bridge is washed away following flooding in the Swat region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province on Monday. The United Nations and the United States announced $10 million in emergency aid for Pakistan on Sunday. (W. Khan / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  113. People camp along railway tracks on Monday after their homes were destroyed by flooding in Nowshera. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  114. Army soldiers carry the body of a flood victim to higher ground on July 31. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  115. Flood-displaced residents take shelter in a school at the Mohib Bhanda area in Nowshera on July 31. (A. Majeed / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  116. A man tries to cross a makeshift bridge to escape his flooded home in Nowshera on July 31. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  117. Pakistani soldiers carry an injured Chinese engineer in Manshera, Pakistan, on July 31. The main was rescued from a hydropower plant in a flood-hit area of Dubair. (Strdel / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  118. Stranded Pakistani villagers wait for rescue helicopters on their house in Nowshera, Pakistan, on July 30. (Mohammad Sajjad / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  119. Flash floods were triggered by heavy monsoon rains in river Neelum in Pakistani administered Kashmir on July 30. Hundreds of people across Pakistan have been killed and thousands stranded in the ongoing spell of monsoon rains with most of the casualties caused by falling roofs and walls or electrocution. (Nasiruddin Mughal / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  120. An elderly man crosses part of the Islamabad - Peshawar tollway which washed away due to heavy floods in Charsadda, part of Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province on Friday, July 30. Over 400 people have been killed by flash floods in the last week, with the country's northwest and Baluchistan provinces bearing the brunt of the storms. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  121. Residents take shelter on high grounds from floods in Risalpur,in Pakistan's Northwest Frontier Province on Friday, July 30. (Adrees Latif / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  122. Residents use buckets to scoop water from their house after it was destroyed by floods in the outskirts of Peshawar, July 30. (Fayaz Aziz / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  123. Pakistani residents stand by flood water that entered a residential area of Muzaffarabad on July 30. (Sajjad Qayyum / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  124. An aerial view of flood-hit areas on the outskirts of Dera Ismail Khan, on July 30. (Saood Rehman / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  125. Pakistani local residents cross a flooded street on the outskirt of Peshawar on July 28. (A Majeed / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  126. Flash floods fill the streets after a heavy downpour in Peshawar, July 28. (EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: For Pakistan flood survivors, home is side of road

  1. Closed captioning of: For Pakistan flood survivors, home is side of road

    >>> in pakistan there is no end in sight to the unprecedented flooding in that country with millions in danger of dying from hunger or disease. the government is appealing for more international assistance. nbc's stephanie gosk has made her way to the flood zone in southern pakistan .

    >> reporter: water as far as the eye can see. the unrelenting monsoon rains have unleashed the worse crisis in pakistani history. with more than 13 million people struggling just to stay alive, the fight is especially desperate in sindh province where army helicopters are trying to rescue victims and deliver aid. but most people had to fend for themselves, scrumabgrabbing whatever they could -- livestock, beds and useless electric fans . home is the side of the road . that is where we found neme. she's been here for four days along with the rest of her village, but it is not safe. the bridge under them is straining against the raging water.

    >> we have no food, no water. the government is not helping us.

    >> reporter: seeing the desperation, some pakistanis are doing whatever they can to help. for more than a week makbub ali has been out on his boat searching for the stranded

    >> translator: these people belong to my village. we have not taken any help from the government.

    >> reporter: today he found mohammad sali. the family lived here for 20 years. they didn't evacuate because they didn't think there was a danger. last night while everyone was asleep the river rose quickly and their house crashed down on top of them. sali said his wife made it to dry land but all of his young children drowned. he refuses to leave until he finds their bodies. stephanie gosk, nbc news, pakistan .

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