Flood causes 1,710 death, 43 bln dollar loss in Pakistan

22:55, September 02, 2010      

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Pakistani flood survivors sit on ground and wait for relief goods in Dera Murad Jamali, Balochistan, southwest Pakistan, Sept. 2, 2010. The month-long devastating floods, the worst in Pakistan's history, have killed at least 1,710 people and affected over 20 million others. (Xinhua/Iqbal Hussain)
The flash floods in Pakistan have left 1,710 people dead, millions homeless and caused a loss of over 43 billion U.S. dollars, the government said Thursday.

According to a survey report by Pakistan's Federal Flood Commission (FFC) released Thursday morning, at least 1,710 people died and another 2,632 were injured as the floodwater in the Indus River finally rushed into the Arabian Sea after ravaging the country for five weeks.

Chairing a federal cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said the economic losses inflicted by the floods were estimated at 43 billion dollars, almost equal to the expenditures incurred on the war on terror over the past nine years.

"The national economy is expected to grow four percent this year, but it might end up at 2.5 percent, causing massive job losses and affecting incomes of thousands of families," said Gilani.

Gilani also said that the devastation might also affect revenue collection and increase expenditures, widening the budget deficit and hitting the textile and sugar sectors and in turn affect the balance of payments and external resource stability.

"Growth of the manufacturing sector might fall far below the target of 5.6 percent and inflation might increase to 15-20 percent, more than the 9.5 percent target," the prime minister worried.

Briefing media after the meeting, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said 20 million people had been affected and more than 7.5 million of them had been displaced.

The FFC report reveals that the floods devastated everything at large scale, affecting 11,003 villages, damaging 697,799 houses and washing away the crops at an area of over 1.79 million hectares besides perishing 220,061 cattle heads.

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