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Northern Pakistan: Flooding And Avalanches Hit

UN Rushing Relief Aid To Northern Pakistan As Flooding And Avalanches Hit

With heavy snow causing avalanches, torrential rains bursting a dam and both killing at least 300 people in northern Pakistan, United Nations relief agencies were rushing aid supplies to the region.

The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) sent emergency food, water purification tablets, blankets and other necessities by truck to Bela for immediate distribution. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) were adding tents ands other shelter items, while the World Health Organization (WHO) contributed $25,000 worth of medical supplies.

Some 40,000 acres of crops were completely destroyed, an estimated 4,000 families were homeless and half a million had been affected by the rain, according to OCHA.

A UN Disaster Management Team, which expected to be in Gawadar, Balochistan, by tomorrow, would include representatives of UNICEF, WHO, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and would help the Pakistani Government with its own efforts, it said.

In Balochistan, after rain fell heavily for more than two weeks, the Shadi Kaur Dam burst last Thursday night, leaving 82 dead and 1,500 missing, while over 5,500 people were trapped by floodwater and many houses were destroyed, it said.

In the Azad Jammu and Kashmir region a huge avalanche buried 42 people alive on Friday, bringing the death toll in the Northwest Frontier Province to 194, OCHA said.

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