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Oxfam warns over Pakistan floods

Aid charity Oxfam has warned of an impending public health "catastrophe" after devastating floods left more than 1,000 people dead in Pakistan.

The death toll in the poverty-stricken north-west corner of the country is expected to soar following the worst flooding in nearly 40 years.

Oxfam has launched an emergency aid effort as more monsoon rains are predicted to heap further chaos on the area.

The UN has estimated that some one million people are affected by the disaster, with 27,000 still trapped by the water.

Jane Cocking, Oxfam's humanitarian director said: "This is a flood on a scale we have not seen in decades in Pakistan and requires an aid effort of equal measure.

"People in the flood's wake were already desperately poor and what little possessions they had have been washed away.

"The extent of this crisis is only slowly emerging. The more villages that are reached the grimmer the picture becomes.

"There is a desperate need for temporary shelter, clean drinking water and toilets to avert a public health catastrophe. People also need medical care and basic food items."

The flooding caused by record-breaking rainfalls has caused massive destruction in the past week, especially in the north-west province of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa.

As floodwaters begin to recede the full impact of the devastation is becoming clear. Latifur Rehman, spokesman for the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, said: "Aerial monitoring is being conducted, and it has shown that whole villages have washed away, animals have drowned and grain stores have washed away. The destruction is massive."


From Belfast Telegraph