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Asia

Flood death toll rises to at least 1,600 in Pakistan

Hundreds of thousands were evacuated from risk areas on Friday, as more flash floods were forecast. The floods have now spread to Indian-administered Kashmir, killing over 100.

Many survivors have lost everything but the clothes on their back

Many survivors have lost everything but the clothes on their back

Millions of Pakistanis are already affected by the floods that were triggered by heavy monsoon rains and on Friday, the meteorological department warned that heavy rains were expected over the weekend, putting many more at risk.

The authorities in Sindh province, which is very densely populated, predicted that more flash floods along the swollen Indus River threatened hundreds of communities.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced

"At least 11 districts are at risk of flooding in Sindh, where more than 500,000 people have been relocated to safer places and evacuation still continues," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.

Torrential rains were also forecast in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Food and energy crisis

Crop-producing areas have been especially hard hit by the floods and observers have said there could well be a food shortage.

Moreover, electricity generation plants are also at risk in a country, which is already facing a crippling energy crisis.

Huge numbers of animals have also died

Huge numbers of animals have also died

Many of those who have been rescued or evacuated have often been left in makeshift relief camps, without new clothing, clean water or food. Food supplies are dwindling and there is fear that there could be a widespread outbreak of waterborne diseases.

Charities step up their efforts as government is criticised

As the government comes under criticism for its inadequate response to the crisis and international relief agencies struggle to access those affected by the floods, Islamic charities have reportedly stepped up their role on the ground.

The international community has pledged millions of dollars and has also put military equipment to use in the aid efforts.

Meanwhile, in the Ladakh region of Indian-administered Kashmir, which borders Pakistan, overnight flash floods and mudslides killed at least 100 people.

Almost 400 people were injured and troops struggled to find survivors in rubble on Friday. At least 2,000 displaced people were housed in two government-run shelters, the state police chief said.

act/Reuters/AP/AFP
Editor: Thomas Baerthlein

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