Half million people affected in Pakistan floods (Lead)

August 6th, 2010 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Aug 6 (IANS) More than 500,000 people have been evacuated in Pakistan’s Sindh province as floods continue to wreak havoc in the country, killing at least 1,600 people, a media report said Friday.
“Monsoon rains continue to fall and at least 11 districts are at risk of flooding in Sindh, where more than 500,000 people have been relocated to safer places,” DawnNews reported quoting UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affair.

Meteorologist Hazrat Mir said Thursday that flood waters were moving at high levels in the northern part of the Sindh province and will enter the town of Sukkur by Saturday. Those in low-lying areas of the Indus river are most vulnerable.

“There have been constant rains which have aggravated the situation in the areas already struck by floods,” said Saleh Farooqui, director general of the provincial Disaster Management Authority.

“People had to leave their homes because of floods and they now also have to face problems because of rains.”

Aid groups said hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes and are in desperate need of food and drinking water.

The US Thursday announced an additional $25 million in aid to help Pakistan deal with the worst floods in the country’s 63-year existence.

The US, which sees Pakistan as a key ally in the fight against terrorism, has already provided $10 million for flood survivors.

It has also provided six helicopters to ferry relief items to the people affected by the disaster, which has also devastated millions of hectares of agricultural land.

“The US is making a new contribution of $25 million in assistance to flood-affected populations, bringing its total commitment to date to more than $35 million,” a statement from the US embassy in Pakistan said.

“The money will be provided by USAID to international organisations and established Pakistani NGOs to provide food, health care and shelter for those displaced by the flood,” the statement added.

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