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More than 400 dead in Pakistan floods

The number of dead rose above 400 after three days of floods in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Whole villages have been washed away, hundreds of thousands of homes destroyed and thousands of families forced to evacuate or left stranded.

The floods, triggered by heavy monsoon rains, are some of the worst the region has seen over the past 80 years, according to officials. Pakistan’s weather department said 12in of rain had fallen over the last 36 hours.

As many as 430 people had been killed and hundreds more hurt, Associated Press news service reported earlier today.
There are fears that number may grow, as Rescue workers today search amid landslides, washed away bridges and collapsed homes to find the hundreds of people still missing.

As many as 300 of the deaths in the last three days have been in north-western Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to charity, the Edhi Foundation, which runs an ambulance service. Dozens more people are said to have been killed over the same few days in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Those hit hardest by the flooding are mostly the rural poor who live in flood-prone areas because they cannot afford safer land, said a BBC correspondent.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's information minister, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, said nearly 400,000 people had been forced to flee.
Meanwhile, people in Muzaffarabad have been left without drinking water in some parts of the city, and power supplies have also been cut to prevent people being electrocuted. Transport and communications links have also been badly hit.
Government rescue teams and army helicopters started air-lifting people to higher ground, and boats are being used to help save those stranded. Pakistani TV channels showed footage of cars, cattle and people being swept away by powerful torrents.

The floods finish off a deadly week in Pakistan. On Wednesday, a passenger plane slammed into hills close to Islamabad killing all 152 people on board. Airline officials said that the weather was likely to have played a part in the disaster.

The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said it would be sending emergency supplies to those affected. And the UN Human Settlements Programme, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Health Organization and the World Food Programme also pledged their support for the victims.

Pakistan’s weather department has predicted 10 per cent more rain this year than during a normal monsoon season.

 Hayley attribution