Down the River: A Journey Through Pakistan’s Devastation

August 31, 2010

A man warns flood victims how overloaded their boat is as they cross the floodwaters toward villages in Sultan Kot, about 51 km (31 miles) from Sukkur in Pakistan's Sindh province August 31, 2010. A month after torrential monsoon rains triggered Pakistan's worst natural disaster on record, flood waters are starting to recede -- but there are countless survivors at risk of death from hunger and disease. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Starting tomorrow, members of the Pakistan bureau — including myself, two cameramen and a photographer — will travel down the Indus River valley to document the scope and scale of Pakistan’s devastating floods, approximately one month after they began.

More than 1,600 people have been killed and at least six million made homeless. But the numbers don’t tell the story in themselves, and that’s part of what we’re going to attempt to do. With a disaster so great in scale, no single area can convey what has happened, or what will happen next.

We’ll be blogging from the road, uploading pictures and video and generally trying to provide you with a fresh look at a story that at times seems too big to put in a news article (or even several, for that matter.)

The floods have changed many things in Pakistan. They have destroyed lives and livelihoods, stripped away infrastructure and shaken up the political establishment. Militants and the military seem equally dazed by the catastrophe. It is not an understatement to say things in Pakistan will never be the same.

So that’s partly what this expedition is intended to find out: not only what happened in the last month, but what might happen in the months ahead for this unruly, fascinating and thoroughly vital country. I hope you’ll join us on our journey through Pakistan’s devastation.

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