SOHBATPUR, Pakistan — A shipload of US Marines and helicopters arrived to boost relief efforts in flooded Pakistan, but the prime minister told The Associated Press his country needs more international help to cope with one of the worst natural disasters in its history.
The United Nations warned the crisis was far from over, saying dams in Sindh province could still burst in the coming days. More rain fell around the country Thursday, and monsoon season is forecast to last several weeks still.
Spokesman Maurizio Giuliano said UN officials roughly estimated that up to one-fourth of the country is or had been affected by the floods, though those areas were not necessarily under water.
The government has been sharply criticized for a slow and patchy response to the floods, which has killed 1,500 people left and left an estimated 7 million people needing emergency assistance, their homes destroyed, damaged or inundated with muddy water and unlivable.
President Asif Ali Zardari — whose decision to go ahead with a trip to Europe when the disaster began was condemned by many — made his first visit to victims of the disaster on Thursday, according to state-run Pakistan Television that gave few details of the trip.