1,294 dead in Pakistan's worst floods: official

19:35, August 12, 2010      

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People push vehicles through the waterlogged street in northwest Pakistan's Risalpur on August 2, 2010. (Xinhua/Umar Qayyum)

At least 1,294 persons have been confirmed dead and 1,366 injured so far in Pakistan's worst-ever floods in 80 years, the Federal Flood Commission (FFC) said in a report on Thursday.

Alamgir Khan, Chief Engineer of FFC, said that the report was compiled with the help of survey by the respective provincial authorities.

The FFC reports are considered as the most reliable, though bit slow in compilation.

Earlier media reports suggested that over 1,600 people were killed and more than 5,000 injured due to the floods, hitting different parts of all provinces of the country.

The government report also said that at least 3.6 million people have been homeless.

The figures of affected people are being estimated differently by every department. Pakistan's federal minister for information Qamaruz Zaman Kaira told media that minimum 12 million people had been affected while the United Nations considered it more than 15 million.

According to the flood commission report, as many as 415,862 houses have been destroyed or partially damaged.

The commission said that at least 90,618 houses have been destroyed or damaged in Punjab province, 172,110 houses in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 19,619 in Balochistan, 1,432 in Federally Administered Tribal Areas, 2,336 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 122,798 in Sindh and 6,357 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir so far.

Minimum 2,250,409 acres of cropped and 2,698,041 acres areas have also been affected due to floods and rains, the report said.

The floods also affected 4,885 villages in various parts including 1,527 in Punjab, 581 in KP, 2,584 in Balochistan and 193 in GB, the minister said.

"These figures may rose many folds as the survey department is conducting surveying among difficult conditions in the areas," he said.

At least 208 big relief camps have also been established in all the flood-hit areas to provide prompt relief to the affected people.

The United Nations aid agencies and their partners Wednesday asked for about 460 million U.S. dollars to help millions of flood- hit Pakistanis.

"We have a huge task in front of us to deliver all that is required as soon as possible," said John Holmes, UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, at the UN Headquarters in New York.

"The death toll has so far been relatively low compared to other major natural disasters, but the numbers of affected are extraordinarily high. If we don't act fast enough, many more people could die of diseases and food shortages," added Mr Holmes.

According to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one hundred percent crop losses have been recorded in many areas and tens of thousands of animals have died. Wheat, gram, lentil, tobacco, rapeseed, barley, cottons and mustard are crops are washed away in thousands of acres in the country.

The basic infrastructure including roads, railway lines, bridges, electricity and communication system, health centers have been completely damaged in the flooded areas which are increasing the miseries of the people.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:王寒露)

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