ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The southern city of Hyderabad was threatened as flood waters rose near the city, Pakistani officials said Friday.
The New York Times said the next two days will be crucial for the city's 1.5 million people. The city is the sixth largest in Pakistan.
A local official who gave his name as Major Ehsan told the Times embankments have been strengthened over the last 10 days.
"We have done a lot of work, making sandbags and stone pitches to build up the embankments," he said.
The Indus River has flooded five to seven miles beyond its banks, the newspaper said. Upriver villages are still being flooded. Most villagers have been evacuated from low-lying areas, but the military was still getting calls from those stranded in their homes, the local official said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's foreign minister said he'll use a U.N. General Assembly meeting as a forum to alert the world to the magnitude of the flooding crisis in his country.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he would also raise the issue of donations when he addresses the special session, and when meeting with Asia Society representatives, as well as appeal to Pakistanis living outside the country, the Associated Press of Pakistan reported Friday.
"There is no doubt, Pakistanis living abroad always come to support Pakistan at all testing times. I do hope they will support Pakistan this time too," Qureshi said.
The Federal Flood Commission said at least 1,540 people died and 2,088 were injured in devastating, monsoon-driven floods. The flooding damaged or destroyed as many as 557,226 houses and affected at least 6.3 million people, the commission said. It said 4 million acres of cropland and 4.6 million acres of other property were affected.
The foreign minister said the Pakistani government's new National Oversight Disaster Management Council would ensure transparency in distributing aid to flood-ravaged areas, helping ease fears that donations would wind up in the hands of insurgents.