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Pakistan flood death toll reaches 800

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 31 July 2010

Floods caused by record-breaking rainfall in Pakistan have killed more than 800 people in a week, according to a government officials.

Floods in Pakistan kill more than 800 people, officials say (credit:Reuters)

Rescuers were struggling to reach marooned victims as some of the evacuees showed signs of fever, diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases.

The information minister for the northwest province, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, said reports coming in from various districts across the northwest showed that more than 800 people had died due to the flooding. Many people remain missing.

In the northwest, the hardest-hit region, it was the worst flooding since 1929. People clung to fences and each other as water gushed over their heads, TV footage showed. Scores of men, women and children sat on roofs.

Floodwaters were receding in the northwest, officials said, but fresh rains were expected to lash other parts of the country in the coming days.

The United Nations estimates that around one million people nationwide are affected by the disaster. Rescuers were using army helicopters, heavy trucks and boats to try reaching flood-hit areas, the UN said.

But the rescue effort has been hindered by damage caused by the floods. It reported that thousands of homes and roads were destroyed, and at least 45 bridges across the northwest were damaged.

Anwar Ullah Khan, a civil defence official, complained that they weren't receiving enough aid.

He said that there weren't any vehicles available to take injured people to hospital, nor have they received any money to help buy medicine.

A doctor treating evacuees at a small relief camp in Nowshera in the northeast said some had diarrhoea and others had marks appearing on their skin, causing itching.

Children and the elderly seemed to have the most problems, Mehmood Jaa said.

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