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In Shahdadkot, Pakistan, Concrete Levees Hold Back 'Torrents Of Water'

Just feet away from a concrete levee in Shahdadkot, Pakistan, a mosque is submerged.
Just feet away from a concrete levee in Shahdadkot, Pakistan, a mosque is submerged.

According to NPR's Julie McCarthy, "the Indus River has turned up in places that no one ever expected," flooding whole villages and ruining crops.

She is Shahdadkot, a town that borders Balochistan, which she calls a "kind of microcosm of what we're seeing in Pakistan." The enormity of the disaster has overwhelmed government officials, so people have had to rely on each other.

"What's clear here, in this community, is that it's not in the river's path," McCarthy reports. "And like many throughout Pakistan, it has been inundated nonetheless, causing confusion, mass exodus. The town is shuddered."

In some parts of Shahdadkot, the rice-growing center of Sindh, residents have built makeshift levees. A concrete embankment, which runs along a main road, "is holding back torrents of water that have covered vast acreages of rice fields, villages and settlements," McCarthy says. "It's rudimentary; but so far, so good."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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David Gura
Based in New York, David Gura is a correspondent on NPR's business desk. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines, All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and he regularly guest hosts 1A, a co-production of NPR and WAMU.