Pakistan Floods – 2010 | Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue (ERTSAR) UK

Pakistan Floods – 2010

The relief mission to Pakistan was undertaken whilst liaising with the United Nations in Sukkur. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the Pakistan flooding is the worst natural disaster he has ever seen. The ERT Search and Rescue team deployed to Northern Sindh by military C130 and was based in Jacobabad where some 700,000 affected people needed rescue, relief and humanitarian aid.

ERTSAR had travelled to the front line with Humanitarian Aid such as tents, water, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solutions), food, blankets and medicines etc., all paid for by public and corporate charitable donation.

Transport to Pakistan was kindly provided by Emirates Airlines. ERTSAR had been told to expect 15 to 20 miles width in the Indus River. The local situation was much worse than expected with the floods were estimated up to 30 miles wide in parts and so deep that many areas were inaccessible by road.

As well as providing humanitarian Aid and specialist skills, the team also brought ten new 17 ½ foot rescue powerboats from the UK to use in the rescue missions whilst there. These were paid for by Mr Arif Naqvi and were left in the region for subsequent use by the Aman Foundation, a non profit local NGO.

Working closely with other humanitarian agencies and the military, ERTSAR patrolled from Jacobabad across to the Border of Balochistan and back. Although many people had been rescued in the area they still found dozens of people stranded, many on the roofs of their homes. ERTSAR performed water rescues and transportation. However, the team also found many people on roof tops wishing to stay with their homes but still requiring essential aid supplies such as food and water.

Mission team leader Gary Foo said, when interviewed by the BBC there, “It is overwhelming and massive. People are in physical and mental distress and it’s not going to be over soon. We are working in humid 47C degree heat. The monsoon floods are as far as the eye can see and there is mass devastation. There is also mass infection being passed on due to unsanitary water conditions, causing issues such as diarrhoea, skin and eye infections. Everyone we meet is doing what they can to help but it is an absolutely massive humanitarian crisis.” He continued “…Working in a water rescue and medical capacity our team was able to deploy in a life affecting way to help the suffering people of Pakistan. There were so many animals trapped and killed by the floods too.”





Not only was the volunteer team from the UK well regarded for their donations, expertise and self sufficiency on the front line, but they also had four female members able to deal closely with the health and medical needs of the women and children. One was the mission 2 i/c , an experienced emergency rescue tech and medic, and the other three were female doctors – one of whom spoke fluent Urdu.

Air corridors have now been created to try to link the main cities from these islands but even these areas are still perilously under threat as waters in some areas continue to rise. The floods are still moving down the massive Indus River to the Arabian Sea and further threaten all dams, barrages, villages and towns in its path. The floods have already made massive lakes of areas that were once people’s homes, towns and farmland.



The team returned home late Wednesday, 25th August 2010, having provided water rescue and medical assistance and all the aid they had transported to the region. ERT Search & Rescue still fundraising and are raising more monies for another deployment to the disaster.

Download the mission executive summary here:
ERT Pakistan Flood Deployment Aug 2010 Summary


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