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Over 300 killed, 6 million affected in Pakistan floods

Sunday September 18, 2011 08:44:48 AM, IANS

Islamabad: Recent floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in southern Pakistan have killed nearly 300 people and affected 6 million more, according to the latest figures released by the country's National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Saturday.

The floods caused damage to an area of 7.987 million acres and swept away standing crops in the whole affected areas, said NDMA, reported Xinhua.

According to NDMA, floods have affected all the 23 districts of Sindh province and completely damaged a total of 539,899 houses while another 848,412 houses have suffered partial damage.

More than 80,000 livestock have been washed away by flood waters in Sindh while cotton, banana, dates, chili and sugarcane on 2,800,000 acres of land have been destroyed or affected. About 31,960 villages have been badly affected by the floods.

The first spell of rain that started on Aug 11 mainly affected 7 districts of Sindh province while an ongoing second spell has hit the entire province including Karachi.

An estimated 415,195 people are presently living in some 2,656 makeshift relief camps including schools and public buildings across Sindh, said NDMA.

Some 5.74 million people in different districts of the province have been affected by the floods and thousands of them are camped out on higher ground or on roadsides.

Pakistan Army has been busy in rescue and relief operation and so far rescued more than 100,000 marooned people along with their cattle from various water inundated areas.

Pakistan Navy teams are also busy in rescue work in the flood affected areas and evacuated 11,000 victims.

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, who had canceled his visit to the United States due to the floods, started visit to the flood-hit Sindh province. Officials briefed him about the losses.

In response to the appeal from President Asif Ali Zardari, China has announced that it will supply relief goods worth $4.7 million for Pakistan's flood victims. Iran has announced $100 million aid for the rehabilitation of the rain-affected people of Sindh. Japan has announced emergency relief goods worth $450,000. The relief goods include tents, water purifiers and medicines.

South Korea has decided to provide emergency assistance worth $200,000 in relief goods. The European Commission announced that 10 million euros would be provided in emergency relief. Donations by German people for the flood victims in Pakistan have increased to over $210 million. The Red Cross Society of China has donated $50,000 in cash as an emergency aid to Pakistan.

The UN-led humanitarian community in Pakistan is seeking $337 million from donor countries for an emergency response plan to support the government in addressing the needs of flood-affected families in Sindh.

The United States is sending food aid for nearly 350,000 people and medical assistance for about 500,000 people. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon formally called on the international community to help Pakistan. A team of UN agencies is currently visiting the affected areas for a needs assessment.






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