US military sending assessment team to Pakistan amid deadly floods

The U.S. military is sending a team to Pakistan to figure out what support the Pentagon could provide amid deadly floods that have covered more than one-third of the country, the Defense Department announced Friday.  

U.S. Central Command will send the team to Islamabad to determine how the Pentagon can help the U.S. Agency for International Development as part of Washington’s response to the crisis, the command’s top spokesperson, Col. Joe Buccino, said in a statement. 

Gen. Michael Kurilla, the head of CENTCOM, also spoke by phone with Pakistan’s chief of army staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to express “his condolences for the people of Pakistan,” the statement added.  

Floods that began in mid-June have ravaged Pakistan, and satellite images this week showed more than one-third of the country under water.

The flooding has killed more than 1,100 people — at least 400 of them children — affected more than 33 million people, and destroyed millions of acres of crops and hundreds of thousands of livestock, setting the country up for a major food shortage and humanitarian crisis. 

The floods are being blamed on a heavier than normal monsoon season, the wettest since Pakistan began keeping records in 1961, CNN reported

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has called the floods “the worst in the country’s history,” estimating that the disaster has caused more than $10 billion in damages. 

Tags Pakistan

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