Morethan 1,100 Passed Away in Pakistan Flooding
August 1, 2010 by staff
Morethan 1,100 Passed Away in Pakistan Flooding, Pakistan (AFP) – The death toll from the worst floods in Pakistan in recent memory on Sunday topped 1,100 as outbreaks of waterborne diseases emerged penniless survivors have sought refuge against the raging torrents .
More than 1,100 people have been killed and more than 1.5 million people affected by monsoon rains, floods and landslides in the province of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and at least 47 others died in Pakistani Kashmir administered, authorities said.
Thousands of homes and vast tracts of farmland have been destroyed in a region of Pakistan reeling from years of bloodshed extremists.
“The floods have killed over 1,100 people in different parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and affected over 1.5 million euros,” Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Minister for Information Pakhtunkhwa Khyber, told AFP.
“We receive information on the losses of lives and property caused by flooding across the province,” he said, adding that he feared the toll could rise.
A senior official at the provincial Disaster Management (PDMA) has confirmed the assessment.
Hussain said more than 3,700 houses were washed away by floods, and the number of homeless is increasing.
Hundreds of survivors have sought refuge in schools in Peshawar, the main town in north-western Pakistan, and Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani Kashmir, having escaped the flood with children on their backs.
The U.S. government rushed helicopters, boats, bridges, water units, and other supplies to Pakistan as part of a commitment of 10 million dollars aid.
“The Pakistani people are friends and partners and the United States stands with them the tragic toll of man rises against the floods in northwestern Pakistan,” the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.
China, which was also hit by severe floods, has announced a 10 million yuan (1.5 million dollars) in donations by the official Xinhua news agency, which quoted a government website.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said it had carried more than 500 people stranded, including six foreigners, in the context of relief and was conducting reconnaissance missions to assess damage to infrastructure.
The floods have also ravaged parts of Afghanistan, killing at least 65 people and affecting more than 1,000 families, officials said.
Pakistani television footage and photographs taken from helicopters showed that it clings to walls and roofs of houses damaged by the water rushes through the villages.
Muqaddas Khan, 25, who fled the floods with nine relatives, told AFP in Peshawar that he had lost everything.
“I worked hard in Saudi Arabia for three years and set up a small shop that has been washed away by floods in a few minutes,” said Khan.
Pakistan’s meteorological bureau said the north-west was hit by an “unprecedented” 312 millimeters (12 inches) of rain in the space of 36 hours.
More than 300 people affected by floods rallied in Peshawar on Sunday, chanting slogans criticizing the provincial government does not provide adequate housing.
“I built a two-room house on the outskirts of Peshawar with my hard earned money, but I lost in the floods,” said 53-year-old worker Ejaz Khan, who joined the rally.
“The government does not help us … The school building is protected when I packed with people, without adequate planning for food and medicine, “Khan told AFP.
Waseyullah, 33, told his two brothers working as laborers in Saudi Arabia for the money to build a small furniture factory he had lost in the floods.
“I think the provincial government to help me financially to the reconstruction of this plant,” he added.
Information Minister Hussain said rescue teams were trying to reach 1,500 tourists stuck in the district of Swat, which was the scene of a major anti-Taliban year’s last offensive.
“We also get confirmation of reports about an outbreak of cholera in parts of Swat,” he said.
The army said it had sent ships and helicopters to rescue people in distress and its engineers have tried to open more roads and diverting rivers to flood.
In Pakistani Kashmir, officials said army helicopters had been urged, in the Neelam Valley most affected.
“He was cut off from the rest of Kashmir, and we still do not know how many people are killed, injured and displaced by that,” State disaster management chief Farooq Niaz said.
However, the authorities said they had repaired a damaged part of the highway from Islamabad to Peshawar to restore road links to the North West with the rest of Pakistan.
The flooding has capped a week of tragedy for Pakistan, after an airliner crashed in the hills near Islamabad, on Wednesday, killing all 152 people aboard.
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