Pakistan floods make 60,000 homeless

AFP , Wednesday 17 Aug 2011

Devastating rains have triggered floods in southern Pakistan, affecting at least 700,000 people and forcing 60,000 from their homes

Villages have been flooded and crops destroyed in Pakistan's bread basket of Sindh province, which was one of the worst-hit areas in unprecedented floods in 2010 that affected 21 million people and caused losses of $10 billion.

"At least 700,000 people have been affected by the floods caused by the recent rains in the six districts of Sindh province," Sajjad Haider Shah, an official in the provincial disaster management authority, told AFP.

"Some 60,000 people have been rendered homeless, who have migrated to safer areas," Shah said. There were unconfirmed reports that 30 people had been killed in the past week, he added.

Another senior government official confirmed the number of people affected.

Sindh chief minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah told reporters overnight that one million people had been affected, but provided no details.

Tens of thousands of people are still living in emergency camps after last year's floods and British charity Oxfam has accused Pakistan of failing to invest in prevention measures, making it vulnerable to further disaster.

Shah at the disaster management authority said crops had been destroyed and houses flooded. "Badin is the most affected district, where more than half the total people have been displaced," he said.

Rains have also caused havoc in the districts of Tando Mohammad Khan, Mirpurkhas, Thar, Umerkot and Tando Allahyar. The meteorological office has forecast more rain in coming days.

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