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Warnings of health crisis in flood-hit Pakistan

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Warnings of health crisis in flood-hit Pakistan


Monsoon rains in Pakistan have paused long enough to reveal some of the extensive damage wreaked by the worst floods in living memory.

More than 1100 people have now died and that figure is likely to rise as the waters recede.

The United Nations estimates one million people have been affected and the scope of the tragedy has strained the resources of a government already struggling with a faltering economy and a war with the Taliban.

“The entire main road in this town is totally damaged and destroyed. People are in deep trouble, 40,000 local residents and two or three thousand tourists are all stuck here,” said local assembly member. Jaffar Shah.

Several countries and organisations have begun to mobilise a response to the disaster using Pakistan’s air force base at Peshawar as a hub for incoming aid.

Along with rescue boats and food packages, pre-fabricated steel bridges have been shipped in to bolster up the destroyed infrastructure.

But it is those in the isolated rural areas who are causing most concern. They were already desperately poor and what little possessions they had have been washed away.

Fears of an outbreak of cholera are adding to the problems – Oxfam has warned of an impending public health catastrophe as more rains are forecast.

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