Pakistan floods kill 371, affect 4.47m
Monsoon floods in Pakistan have killed 371 people and affected nearly 4.5 million, the government's disaster relief agency said yesterday.
Pakistan has suffered devastating floods in the past two years, including the worst in its history in 2010, when catastrophic inundations across the country killed almost 1,800 people and affected 21 million.
As in 2010 and 2011, most of those hit by the latest floods are in Sindh province, where the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) said 2.8 million were affected, with nearly 890,000 in Punjab and 700,000 in Baluchistan.
Nearly 290,000 people around the country have been forced to seek shelter in relief camps, NDMA said in figures published on its website.
The floods began in early September, with nearly 80 killed in flash floods, mostly in the northwest and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.
An NDMA spokesman said the government was not yet appealing for foreign assistance.
More than a million acres (400,000 hectares) of crops have been destroyed by the floods across the country, NDMA said, and nearly 8,000 cattle have been killed.
UN children's agency UNICEF, quoting a separate flood assessment, said at least 2.8 million people had been affected, including 1.4 million children, of whom more than 390,000 are under five.
UNICEF said it was providing 183,000 people a day with drinking water but warned it urgently needed more funds.
The UN agency voiced particular concern about children forced from their homes, saying loss of access to safe water supplies left them vulnerable to diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, measles, polio and pneumonia.
"UNICEF urgently needs $15.4 million to scale up its water, sanitation and hygiene response to reach around 400,000 people over the next three to six months."
UNICEF said that according to its assessment, more than half of those affected by the floods were concentrated in just five districts, two each in Sindh and Baluchistan and one in Punjab.