Death toll from Pakistan’s floods reach 1,500

August 3rd, 2010 - 12:14 am ICT by BNO News  

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) – The worst floods in Pakistan’s history has killed up to 1,500 people and affected 2.5 million more, being the northwest region of the country the most damaged, Ary News television reported on Monday.

“There are 774 deaths registered with us, but the total number killed in the flood is 1,200 to 1,500,” Mian Iftikhar Hussain, information minister of northwest province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said.

The heavy monsoon rains triggered floods and landslides that swept away thousands of homes and entire villages. Besides the damages to properties, the lack of drinking water is causing diseases, such as cholera and gastroenteritis, in the most impoverished regions of Pakistan.

“In the worst-affected areas, entire villages were washed away without warning by walls of flood water. Thousands of people have lost everything,” the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

As of Monday, there were about 500,600 displaced people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and an additional 200,000 near Mianwali due to flooding. On the other hand, more than 28,000 persons have been rescued, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

According to UN officials, the floods have caused major damage to infrastructure in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, including roads and at least 45 bridges, as wells as thousands of homes.

The Pakistani government is leading the relief efforts, with support from the armed forces, the United Nations (UN) and the United States. The UN awarded $10 million for those affected by the crisis. The U.S. also announced a $10 million aid pledge while the European commission promised to help with €30 million.

So far the U.S. has provided Pakistan with seven helicopters for rescue and relief efforts, approximately 190,000 halal meals, twelve pre-fabricated steel bridges and four Zodiac inflatable rescue boats.

Official said that the floods were unprecedented and that it could take up to 20 days to analyze the situation and to assess the overall number of dead and displaced. Pakistan’s meteorological service forecast rains of up to 200 millimeters (eight inches) in the next weeks across the northwest Kashmir and in Punjab and Sindh in the south.

Local citizens have complained and condemned authorities for their poor relief efforts and the lack of food and proper shelter from the government.

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