I received this e-mail this morning from a very close friend who lives in a remote valley high in the Himalayas in Northern Pakistan. We visited his valley in the summer of 2005. (You can see photos of what it looked like then, here.)
Dear Cam and Lauren,
There is a big flooding in Kalasha valleys due to the break up of a gigantic glacier high in the pastures which was said to be melting lately and due to rains and erupted the day before yesterday. I am in Peshawar with my younger brother Miraj, we came here to do a operation on his nose, he is recovering now. We are told on the phone that the whole scene of Bumborate Balley is changed due to this massive flooding, which knocked down forest trees and rocks at a very high velocity down the mountains and swept every thing on its way. There is continuous rainwater from the mountains adding to the floods and landslides pouring in from the surrounding mountains. The areas most effected were the ones near the river, the big bridge crossing to my grandfather’s house in Broon is gone and the my grandfather and family have taken refuge in the house of a relative which is just above at a higher level. Families living in the flat land area have moved to the villages located in the slopes of the mountains thus are safe but i am told that there could be danger of land sliding and rock falling if the rains continue. In Brun the flood has gone as far as where the valley road is and has destroyed the houses, fruit trees and ready crops. Fortunately there is no loss of any human lives but the basic livelihood specially the ready crops for harvest and fruit trees have been swept away along with live stock. This flooding happened just around the time when people were harvesting. The whole region of north west Pakistan has came under heavy rains and floods. The land connection to Chitral has been broken away and the dirt roads linking the valleys to Chitral are also blocked in several places due to landslides. I am told that there is no response from the local authorities for any relief efforts and the events of flood catastrophes from Chitral region are not covered in the local media and press. There are floods in Peshawar and in the surrounding region a swell. The road from Peshawar at Nowshera, and at Dir is damaged at several places.
I’m not able to make the journey by road and i have no money left to get flight to Chitral. I am anxious and desperate to arrive to the family to be of any help when it is most needed and to access the situation. I am in need of 150-200 dollars if you can wire me here in Peshawar. I want to arrive there as soon as possible and start making reports for relief efforts and humanitarian assistance for the Kalash valleys.